What was once an easy decision (one Share This/Add This button and you're done) has been expanded to Facebook buttons, TweetMeme buttons, Twitter buttons, Evernote buttons, and scores of others that I can't rattle off the top of my head.
Now LinkedIn has added to the mix with a sharing button of their own. That in itself isn't necessarily newsworthy, but what it means for the future of LinkedIn is.
LinkedIn has achieved rare success and become a part of that pantheon of social media elite along with the likes of Facebook and Twitter. It's carved out and dominated its niche as a professionals' network, steady progressing and evolving along the way.
That's why this new button worries me. Yes, there has always been (and will always be) link-sharing with large social networks, including LinkedIn. The issue is that the entire concept of sharing buttons is predicated upon making link-sharing as fast and easy as possible, which is perfect for networks like Twitter and Facebook.
But LinkedIn isn't meant to be a barrage of links. Users, myself included, enjoy LinkedIn because you aren't inundated with links. And while I understand the reason for posting the occasional story to LinkedIn because it pertains to your industry or has some relevance to your professional life, LinkedIn may be opening the flood gates to overwhelming users with pointless links that other users have no interest in.
Of course, all of this depends on web developers actually implementing it into their sites, which has yet to be seen. And maybe I'm off the mark with how LinkedIn users will receive this new sharing button, but I for one don't believe LinkedIn should try to be something it's not and should stick to being the professionals' network that made it successful in the first place.