Tuesday, December 8, 2015, 12:27 PM ET|Posted by Will Richmond
Pardon a little personal horn-tooting this morning, but I’m honored to share that I’ve been selected by LinkedIn as one of their top 10 media writers of the year. To put this in context, as LinkedIn’s executive editor, Daniel Roth explains, every week there are 150K+ articles posted on LinkedIn by almost 2 million different writers. LinkedIn has become a massive publishing platform where original content is distributed to one’s professional network and beyond.
With LinkedIn’s “Top Voices” feature, the company is recognizing the 10 top writers in 8 different verticals (finance, technology, marketing, healthcare, leadership, media, education and venture capital). LinkedIn used a formula that measured engagement (especially comments), growth of followers tied to publishing, number of times the writer had been featured in their respective channel, and how often the writer had been chosen as an “Editor’s Pick.”
Daniel’s description of writing as being a “lonely, nerve-wracking process,” where “ideas bouncing around in your head turn into a worldwide conversation,” completely resonates for me. Each morning when I sit down to write my post(s), I grapple with what to focus on, why this matters and how to add distinctive value to a topic that is often covered in infinite other places. Some days things come easily; other days it’s grueling. While I talk to lots of people in the industry regularly, it’s rare when I discuss a specific post or seek any specific editorial input.
I’ve been doing this now for 8 years (remarkable how time flies!) and I can tell you in all candor that the anxiety over what to write about and what to say never diminishes. One thing VideoNuze readers have no doubt observed is that, unlike journalists who provide the valuable service of incorporating quotes/perspectives from industry experts to craft a narrative that supports their article’s headline, with VideoNuze posts, it’s all about what I think. I don’t look to 3rd-party experts to support a thesis; I aim to BE that expert, providing original analysis and insights which hopefully impart a deeper level of understanding to readers (the same is true of the weekly podcast I do with Colin). I rely on my own professional experience and analytical frameworks, creativity and data to guide my conclusions. It's the epitome of "flying without a net."
Admittedly, it’s a pretty ego-centric pursuit. In my more paranoid moments, I sometimes wonder, “why should anyone give a sh-t about what Will Richmond thinks anyway?” In our noisy media lives, VideoNuze is just one delete key tap away from oblivion, just like everyone else. Just to raise the stakes a little further, the online video landscape is extraordinarily confusing. There are days when I’ll concede I’m not 100% sure what to make of a certain product announcement or initiative. Is this truly meaningful or insignificant? Is it pure PR spin or is it a game-changer?
Of course, that’s the true fun of doing what I do - constantly analyzing, synthesizing and trying to make sense of the turbulence engulfing the video industry. It’s endlessly fascinating to have a front row seat to the disruption occurring throughout the industry, the new technologies and devices that are relentlessly pushing us forward and creating unprecedented new challenges. I love the intellectual challenge of trying to cut through the clutter and help explain to sophisticated industry professionals what’s really going on. I’ve always believed in quality over quantity in terms of how much to post and that worst thing I could ever be accused of is doing little more than regurgitating a press release. At the end of day, I view my role at VideoNuze as an analyst and an educator, doing my best to help busy executives understand things just a little bit better. It’s still a great thrill when an industry CEO periodically emails me to say “you nailed it” (though in truth, sometimes I'll receive the opposite “you completely don’t get it” email as well).
For those of you who are devoted VideoNuze readers and attendees at our conferences, thanks for your constant feedback and encouragement. The LinkedIn top 10 recognition is a huge validation of the work I do each day, but your loyalty and the trust you put in me each day ultimately means far more.