SmoothSpan Blog

For Executives, Entrepreneurs, and other Digerati who need to know about SaaS and Web 2.0.

LinkedIn Adds Companies as First Class Citizens

Posted by Bob Warfield on March 21, 2008

LinkedIn is rolling out company profile pages, so now companies are first class objects in the web of relationships that LinkedIn tracks.  That’s a good move.  It will play well for several of the 10 Ideas to Take LinkedIn to the Next Level I published.  For example:

– Do Some Heavy Lifting in the CRM and Marketing World:  It’ll be very helpful to be able to go from company to people (as opposed to just going people to company before the new feature) to build up this kind of functionality.

– Get More Private and Premium White Label Services for Companies:  It is hinted that companies will eventually have Wiki-style control over some aspects of their profiles.  That could make the profile a good home page for internal white label applications.  There’s still a lot of work to be done to enable those services, such as the ability to add fields to the entries for people that are private internal-use only for the companies.  Being able to understand the hiring and promotion scene at a company is great, and a logical next step is to support internal recruiting and mobility within an organization as a private white label service.

–  Web Mentions:  There is talk of news feeds that show “headliners” or people’s mentions in the press.  That’s a good start, but the web is a lot more than press releases.  It should be straightforward to add additional feed sources into the framework that the new initiative creates.

–  Creating a Business Relationship Semantic Web:  I had suggested that LinkedIn could “own” the semantic web for people.  Tying people back to companies and vice versa is classic semantic web activity.   Without the semantic web, search engines have to guess from keyword proximity and pages whether two are related.  LinkedIn has a chance to validate this more fully and be a webwide system of record for who is connected to which companies.  Again, it’s a good start.

It’ll be interesting to watch the future of LinkedIn unfold.

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