How Journalists Can Find Scoops On LinkedIn

The bad news: It isn’t easy. (Far easier: searching for sources at a particular company.)

The good news: Given enough time/effort, anyone can (probably) do it.

By following companies or Q&A threads religiously, it’s possible to sniff out a scoop before anyone else.

Krista Canfield, senior manager of corporate comms for LinkedIn, explained on a recent conference call for journalists:

“[A New York Times reporter was] following Apple, and they noticed in their status update stream that a bunch of whole new people had joined Apple all at once. When this journalist clicked on that, they were all from the same company.” Since there’s few reasons why a bunch of folks would all leave their jobs en masse for a new company except in the case of an acquisition, “the New York Times actually got to break the scoop on that, because they caught it before the company had a chance to announce it.”

Other scoops could be found by watching Q&A threads to see what people are asking about or responding to, or keeping an eye on your connections to see who’s changed jobs recently. In other words: it takes work, and it takes multiple visits back to the site (something LinkedIn has been trying to encourage).

Have you gotten a scoop off a social networking site?