FreePint
 Supporting the value of information in your enterprise

FreePint BlogLinkedIn - How much is it really worth?

Sunday, 30th January 2011 Please login top-right to be able to star items

By Tim Buckley Owen

Item:

LinkedIn – the “Facebook for suits” – seems to be living up to its establishment reputation by launching a conventional Initial Public Offering that is in stark contrast to the approach to the market adopted by its more popular rival.

It was on January 27 that LinkedIn confirmed earlier rumours reported by Reuters that it intended to go to market.  Meanwhile Goldman Sachs has had to deal with the ire of American investors, locked out of Facebook’s less conventional fundraising bid (LiveWire background here) because of concerns reported in the Wall Street Journal that it might violate United States securities laws (subscription may be required).

So what makes LinkedIn special in investors’ eyes?  Well it’s for business, obviously – so sits alongside services like ZoomInfo and Jigsaw (reviewed with LinkedIn in VIP 78 last May or purchase full report here) or its European rival Xing rather than Facebook.  And with 90 million members it’s an extraordinarily valuable tool for crowdsourced horizon scanning, instant metrics and targeted ads.

Among a plethora of technological initiatives recently, it’s just launched two visualisation tools: InMaps, which allows members to see what their personal network looks like, and Swarm, an animated tag cloud that shows what LinkedIn members in specified interest groups are searching, blogging and sharing on, as well as highlighting new jobs posted.

Of course, the concept of InMaps is not new; Leadership Directories started its own Leadership Networks service back in 2007 (LiveWire coverage here).  But that’s a pre-packaged product covering leaders only, whereas LinkedIn’s offering is dynamic and includes potentially anyone.

You could also be uncharitable and say that LinkedIn’s Swarm is just lots of people buzzing around in one place because everyone else is – offering little insight into what’s really new and important.   And there’s also some evidence of concern at the robustness of LinkedIn’s crowdsourced research findings.

A recent analysis of its members’ career histories led LinkedIn to claim that promotions were no longer concentrated in January but increasingly spread throughout the year, and that “millennials” – those born in the 1980s and 1990s – were leading the trend.  The findings look good – but at least two respondents have queried the methodology behind them.

Finally, precision targeting of ads is another LinkedIn forte – and the company has just announced the emergence from beta of its self-service pay-per-click offering, LinkedIn Ads.  Again, looks good – but that hasn’t prevented MediaPost from wondering whether it might prove “jarring for members” if an ad hits too close to home.

As the first social networking company to start the process of becoming publicly traded, LinkedIn is attracting “significant interest”, Reuters reports.  But, it adds, “exactly how attractive it is, is an open question”.


 

About this item:



Tim is an information skills trainer and writer on the information industry with over 40 years' experience in the profession. His career has encompassed information management, writing, editing, training, government policy advice and corporate media & marketing.

Besides writing for FreePint, Tim runs courses for training providers and private clients on enquiry handling, abstracting & summarising, information packaging & presentation and information management. The sixth edition of his classic handbook Successful Enquiry Answering Every Time is published by Facet Publishing. You can find details of Tim's training services at www.buckleyowen.com.

Tim can also be reached at tim.buckleyowen@freepint.com

More articles by Tim Buckley Owen »


« See all FreePint Blog items







FreePint Topics
Sources: Staying informed and aware
Sources
Technology: Improving information work with technology
Technology
Value: Maximising value for information work and investment
Value
 
FreePint Newsletter

Keep up-to-date with the latest FreePint articles and tips by email twice a month.

Email address:


Newsletter 397
24th April 2014

FreePint NewsletterWe highlight details of our latest product reviews, webinars & consulting projects. Get involved with our Communities of Practice or consulting projects.


Register free »
Newsletter archive »

Have a FreePint Subscription?

"Yes, we subscribe"

Login to MyFreePint to access purchased content, be able to 'star' items, and to share items with your colleagues.


"No, not yet"

Find out more about the benefits of accessing all our premium articles, reports, webinars, communities of practice and consulting, through a FreePint Subscription

Keep up-to-date by signing up for the FreePint Newsletter.


"Don't know"

Contact us and we'll check if someone in your organisation has already purchased a subscription.


FreePint Subscription

A FreePint Subscription gives access to all FreePint content (articles, reports and webinars), Communities of Practice and consulting. Find out more.