Ah, those rascals at LinkedIn never seem to rest!  Having taught a TON of LinkedIn classes lately, both to public audiences as well as to private corporate groups, I’m amazed at how frequently I log into the system and suddenly come across little tweaks and changes they’ve made — or some new feature they’ve added.  And while most of these changes are pretty subtle, like the adding of a new “People You May Know” tab to the Add Connections page (which simply mimics the same exact feature that’s been on the Home page forever), there is one fairly significant new tool on LinkedIn that’s worth blogging about: the new “Follow Companies” feature.

You’ll find this new offering on the Companies page of the LinkedIn website.  Just visit that page, type in any company you want to relentlessly stalk (ha ha) and you’ll see an option come up on the right side of the page, as soon as you hit Enter, that asks if you want to “Follow Company?” or not.  Click this option and suddenly, going forward, you’ll be notified whenever something significant happens in the LinkedIn universe related to that organization.  For example, just as a test, I signed up to follow Expedia, and now I get notified each day when a new job gets posted on LinkedIn by the company, when somebody gets hired there, when there’s an internal promotion, or when Expedia’s online description gets updated.  Actually, that’s not true.  I USED to get notified each day, but then I went back into the Companies/Following tab and changed the “notification settings” to only bug me weekly, not daily.  You’ve got a few options like that you can play with, if necessary, to control the “nag” frequency.

As for the usefulness of this new feature?  It’s okay, I suppose, although one could quickly become desensitized to these messages and stop reading them, unless you really happen to be Jonesing to work in a particular place.  I’d suggest you try the feature out one of these days, with one of your companies of interest, and see how you like it.  It’s a nice option to have, if nothing else.  And if you truly are fixated on a company to the point that you’re following them all around on LinkedIn, I’d highly suggest you set up a “Google Alert” related to the organization, as well, which will provide with a bunch MORE useful information on the employer from the web at large.  Not familiar with Google Alerts?  Click here and you can read an earlier posting I wrote that talks all about them.