I’ve long been a fan of publishing platforms that make it easier for the everyday content junky to get their word out. In the early days of the web, the first “enablers” came from titles like PageMill, First Page, and Dreamweaver. These were WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) software programs that you could use on your computer and then upload to your website.

Then came WordPress (both .org and .com,) Moveable Type, and Blogger.com. While they may have started out as outlets for bloggers, this next generation of web tools has become important “publishing platforms” of today. With a quick signup on your browser, they will let an everyday Citizen Kane build entire websites using simple templates online. Now growing past their blogging-platform days, they are more often competing with content management systems (CMS) on corporate levels.

Now comes word that there is another player in town, and they bring a built-in audience to the game. The LinkedIn Publishing Platform is now rolling out with the goal to let it’s members “write longer form posts about their expertise and professional interests.”

For now it’s by invitation only, and the latest group of invites brings the tally to about 25,000. Among them is Barry Feldman, a self professed “Copywriter & Content Marketing Professional.” If his early postings are any indication of what’s to come, you’ll be hearing a lot more from this platform. After just a few posts, Feldman is gushing that:

  • “It’s easy—Like Apple easy. No platform is easier.”
  • Huge reach—With only four posts, he’s seen more than 16,000 views so far.
  • Great user engagement—”The readers are writing. I’ve received more comments than I’ve ever got elsewhere. Love that.”
  • Built-in analytics reporting view, likes, comments, followers.
  • Traffic to his site from LinkedIn has climbed from #10 on his list of refers, to near the top.
  • Connections, the bread-and-butter of LinkedIn scores huge for his reach now that he’s a LinkedIn publisher.

How will this affect the other publishing platforms? Probably not much. This will likely be a place in which individuals do exactly what LinkedIn is describing, a place to write longer form posts about their expertise and professional.

Where this could get interesting would be if they open this up to businesses, brands, and companies in general. Many brands are already looking harder at publishing outlets other than their own website for better reach into their customers’ lives. Given the right situations, this could become as important to a publisher’s toolbox as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all of the other social medias.