LinkedIn branches out with new blogging and 'following' features for select group

LinkedIn has always been based on the notion of "connections" rather than "followers," but the social network has made a bit of a break with that tradition today. For the first time, it will let users follow people they aren't connected to, although their choice of people is initially limited to a group of 150 individuals that LinkedIn deems to be "thought leaders." What's more, the company is also giving them access to some more advanced blogging tools that will let them publish longer posts with pictures and videos. Of course, while it's fairly limited in scope now, LinkedIn is clear that this is only their first step in this direction. It says it will continue to expand its group of "influencers" over the next few months (it's taking suggestions), and LinkedIn's Dan Roth told TechCrunch that "eventually we want to allow all people to follow each others." In the meantime, you can get the full rundown of what's in store at the links below.