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LinksI remember being a bit skeptical when LinkedIn first got started. Although I cannot say that I have personally benefited from being a member, I have found it a pleasure to help others by linking them to someone that I know. The concept is a good one: linking people together and enabling linkees to find one another. If you are friends with a few hundred people, then the friends of the friends of the friends of the friends of those friends likely adds up to millions oe people. The beneficiaries would be those who are looking for a job, looking to hire someone, forming a collaborative network, putting a deal together, or just getting in touch. These are all good things. Many people use LinkedIn as a place to put their profile. I have a LinkedIn profile, but I am not looking for a job. If someone is really intersted in finding out who you are then a profile at wikipedia can be more comprehensive. My wikipedia entry is here.

The question about LinkedIn is how will it make a profit? So far, job ads are Linkedin’s biggest source of revenue. The basic membership is free but the premium services are quite expensive, like $30 to $75 per month. That is a lot to pay to be able to find someone and send them an email. Perhaps businesses find it cost justified. I hope so. LinkedIn is prudently seeking all the revenue streams it can find: general advertising, job ads, employment services, and premium memberships. Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, has had a strong and consistent vision about linking people together. The company is seeking to go public to raise funds for expansion and I wish them the best. Their email to early subscribers was a nice touch.

I want to personally thank you because you were one of LinkedIn’s first million members (member number 371,197 in fact!). In any technology adoption lifecycle, there are the early adopters, those who help lead the way. That was you. We hit a big milestone at LinkedIn this week when our 100 millionth member joined the site. When we founded LinkedIn, our vision was to help the world’s professionals be more successful and productive. Today, with your help, LinkedIn is changing the lives of millions of members by helping them connect with others, find jobs, get insights, start a business, and much more. We are grateful for your support and look forward to helping you accomplish much more in the years to come. I hope that you are having a great year.

Reid Hoffman Signature
Reid Hoffman
Reid Hoffman
Co-founder and Chairman