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From: Brasco One11/4/2011 1:05:00 PM
   of 226
 
Reporting from the battle field: Brasco's Army here is winning the fight against LNKD pig shares, we have much lower price targets for this ugly issue.

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To: stockman_scott who wrote (92)11/5/2011 10:02:23 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
1 Recommendation   of 226
 
Reid G. Hoffman, the start-up whisperer of Silicon Valley

A King of Connections Is Tech’s Go-To Guy

By EVELYN M. RUSLI
New York Times
November 5, 2011

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.

THEY come for his money. They come for his advice. They come — duh — for his connections.

But mostly they come, with all the élan of Dorothy on her way to Oz, for a chance at some face time with Reid G. Hoffman, the start-up whisperer of Silicon Valley.

Mr. Hoffman made his name and fortune as the co-founder of LinkedIn, the social network that went public five months ago. But he has also emerged as something else — — as the man whom Internet entrepreneurs call when they dream of becoming the next, well, Reid Hoffman.

Want to brainstorm about new technology? Build a business? Raise a cool million — or billion? Mr. Hoffman is a man to see. If he can’t help, he probably knows someone who can. He is, as you might expect, a seriously linked-in guy.

On this particular day in July, a rising entrepreneur named Brian Chesky has come calling. Mr. Chesky, the co-founder of Airbnb, an online service that matches people looking for vacation rentals with those with rooms to rent, wants some pointers about expanding into China.

Mr. Hoffman, 44, leans back in his chair. Then he lets fly: Airbnb will need a team in China, a robust Chinese-language platform, Web filters to keep Beijing happy, he says. It might also need a joint venture partner. He rattles off a few names.

It’s noon, and this is the third of nine meetings that Mr. Hoffman has scheduled today. He is trying not to sneak a peek at his smartphone — or, rather, his four smartphones. He fields upward of 400 e-mails a day, not counting all the stuff that streams in via Facebook, Twitter and, naturally, LinkedIn, where he had 2,536 connections at last count.

These days, Mr. Hoffman finds himself, a bit to his own surprise, at the center of the social media universe. He has a second full-time job as a partner at Greylock, the venture capital firm. He serves on the boards of eight companies, including Zynga, the hottest game company on the Web, and Mozilla, of Firefox fame. He is also involved in three nonprofits.

Oh, and there’s that little company called LinkedIn, which, as of Friday, was worth about $7.9 billion in the stock market. Amid all the meetings and messages and tweets, Mr. Hoffman, the executive chairman, must persuade Wall Street that LinkedIn will prosper and that its lofty valuation is not just another sign of Internet mania.

For the moment, Mr. Hoffman seems to give off a golden aura, at least to many in Silicon Valley. Everyone wants a piece of him.

“He’s the first stop for every hot deal,” says David Siminoff, a technology investor.

Gina Bianchini, the founder of the Internet start-ups Ning and Mightybell, says: “He’s like an early warning system for something great in Silicon Valley.”

Cyriac Roeding, the founder of Shopkick, a mobile shopping app that has been bankrolled by Greylock, adds: “I’ve never made a significant move, decision, without consulting him.”

Hearing Mr. Hoffman wax philosophical about technology, it’s easy to understand why so many here seem to view him as something of a yoda. When he talks about “scale” — Internet-speak for having enough people use a network to make the network actually useful — he often invokes Archimedes, the great mathematician and inventor in ancient Greece.

According to lore, Archimedes created a device with a revolving screw-shaped blade to pump water against gravity: the Archimedes screw. Mr. Hoffman urges his followers to find their own levers and devices to encourage people to adopt their technologies. Entrepreneurs, he says, often spend too much time creating products and too little figuring out how to get people to use them.

Archimedes is reputed to have said that, given a lever big enough and a place to stand, he could move the world.

“It’s not really quite true, once you understand Newtonian physics, but it is an accurate metaphor,” Mr. Hoffman says. “Build a compact piece of work with the right leverage, and you can solve a very big problem.”

LONG before LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman was just another kid in California obsessed with playing games. He grew up in Berkeley, bright and precocious, despite B’s and C’s in middle school. His father, William Hoffman, a real estate lawyer, recalls that his son always showed remarkable focus.

When Reid was 5, for instance, his father read to him from “The Lord of the Rings” before bed.

“Apparently, I wasn’t reading fast enough,” William Hoffman recalls. “Whenever I picked up the book, the bookmark moved further and further ahead.”

When he was 12, Reid Hoffman arrived unannounced one Friday at offices of Chaosium, the game maker behind RuneQuest, the fantasy role-playing game first published in 1978. He thrust a manual, marked with his suggestions in red ink, into the hands of a game developer.

The man leafed through the pages and asked Reid if he wanted something else to do. He nodded — and reported to work that Monday. A few weeks later, he received his first paycheck, for $127.

“It changed my father’s view of what I was doing,” Mr. Hoffman recalls. “He realized I could make a living out of this.”

Mr. Hoffman was basically indulging his obsession for games, or, more specifically, his fascination with multiplayer game mechanics, and the way that social systems come together. The question of what brings people together still fascinates him.

In 1985, Mr. Hoffman enrolled at Stanford, where he majored in symbolic systems, the study of the relationship between computing and human intelligence. He soon befriended a fellow student, Peter Thiel, who would go on to found PayPal. Mr. Thiel, a libertarian, describes Mr. Hoffman as standing on the opposite end of the political spectrum — “politically, kind of a socialist,” he says.

But the two became close and often spent hours debating politics, economics and philosophy. One time the topic was a quotation from Margaret Thatcher: “There is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families.”

Mr. Hoffman vehemently disagreed.

“He believed Thatcher’s maxim was wrong,” Mr. Thiel recalled. “Reid was always interested in creating communities.”

In 1990, Mr. Hoffman went to Oxford as a Marshall scholar to pursue a master’s degree in philosophy. He seemed headed toward a career in academia.

“I had this aspiration to participate in society as a public intellectual,” he said. His thesis explored the limitations of thought experiments. By his winter term, he realized that life as a professor would, in many ways, feel confining.

Again, the issue was one of scale.

“When you write a scholarly work, it tends to be understood by very few people, and has one publication point over time,” he said. “But when you build a service, you can touch millions, to hundreds of millions of people directly.”

WHEN Netscape went public in 1995, in a defining event for the Web, Mr. Hoffman and Mr. Thiel were watching. Mr. Hoffman had a hunch that the social media were going to be huge, along with gaming companies that had social media embedded in their DNA.

His gut was right, but his first foray into social media flopped. In the summer of 1997, he started SocialNet, one of the first networks of its kind. It largely focused on online dating and matching up people with similar interests, like golfers who were looking for partners in their neighborhood.

To lure users, SocialNet partnered with an Arizona newspaper. The partnership yielded two customers in the first month.

“We had it completely wrong,” Mr. Hoffman said. The ability for a product or service to go viral, he learned, must be built into the way that the product or service works.

Frustrated, he left SocialNet in 1999 and joined Mr. Thiel at PayPal.

PayPal was wrestling a host of challenges, and Visa and MasterCard didn’t know whether to view it as an ally or an enemy.

As an executive vice president, it was up to Mr. Hoffman to manage external relations. “He was the firefighter in chief at PayPal,” Mr. Thiel says. “Though that diminishes his role because there were many, many fires.”

Mr. Hoffman emerged as a connector and high-level strategist. He packed his schedule with meetings, charmed credit card companies and soothed the regulators.

PayPal survived, and when the company went public, in 2002, Mr. Hoffman and many of his colleagues became multimillionaires.

Mr. Thiel splurged on a Ferrari. Mr. Hoffman wanted to buy an Audi but instead invested his newfound riches in one of the first solar panel companies to come out of Silicon Valley, Nanosolar, and bought an Acura instead.

“I started to think about the value of money,” he says. “I thought if I only had $75,000, would I rather invest in a luxury car or make a play in changing the world?”

Nanosolar became a multibillion-dollar enterprise.

SILICON VALLEY has long since gone Hollywood. Everyone from Lady Gaga to Ashton Kutcher invests in tech start-ups nowadays. Bravo is rumored to be casting for a reality show here.

But Mr. Hoffman remains decidedly unglamorous — a nerd’s nerd. He is wide at the waist and fluffy at the top, with a slightly disheveled heap of hair. His uniform is frumpy, even by the valley’s standards. He still drives the same metallic green Acura.

Today, LinkedIn, the professional social network, is a rising giant, a monument to the emergence of the social Web. Founded in 2002, the company has ballooned to more than 1,700 employees. It has more than 135 million registered members across 200 countries. It has turned a profit in six of the last seven quarters.

Mr. Hoffman, the start-up shepherd, is now helping his friends find their way to the public markets. He is a close adviser to Groupon’s 30-year-old chief executive, Andrew Mason, and a board member of Zynga. Groupon went public last week and its stock soared, giving the company a market value of almost $17 billion. Zynga is expected to go public by year-end.

Despite such euphoria, it wasn’t always clear that LinkedIn would survive. The first year was the darkest. At the time, Friendster was the most popular social network, and by comparison, LinkedIn, a platform built on business connections, seemed dull. Mr. Hoffman was a relentless evangelist, but he had his doubts.

“One of the things I thought of every week was, ‘What happens if we don’t make this? How do we die gracefully?’ ” he said.

It took five years for the company to turn its first profit. Mr. Hoffman struggled to steer his own company even as he mentored others. In 2003, Sequoia Capital, an early backer of Google, invested $4.7 million. One of its partners, Mark Kvamme, joined LinkedIn’s board.

The moves were a coup for LinkedIn, but the relationship was strained at times, according to several people close to Mr. Hoffman. And during the early years, he and Mr. Kvamme occasionally locked horns.

“Reid is not a business-running kind of guy,” says Mr. Siminoff, the tech investor. “He likes to take off his shoes, think of the world broadly and not worry about corporate spend and margins.”

But as the economy deteriorated in 2008, more people joined LinkedIn for its premium job and recruiting services. Mr. Hoffman, who had briefly ceded his role as chief executive to Dan Nye, a former Intuit executive, took back the top job, with the intent of finding another C.E.O. Within months he hired Jeff Weiner, a Yahoo veteran.

Several years wiser, Mr. Hoffman — as the executive chairman — focused on his strengths: product and high-level strategy. It also gave him time to accept a job at Greylock.

Today, Mr. Hoffman splits his time between Greylock’s offices on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, Calif., and LinkedIn’s headquarters here in Mountain View. Again, he senses that a new Web is stirring. In the same way that social media redefined the Internet, he sees another tectonic shift on the horizon.

This one, he believes, will be driven by data. Mr. Hoffman has been investing in companies that are data-driven or starting to work with data in interesting ways
. For instance, even though two Greylock investments, Shopkick and Groupon, focus on retailing, both aggregate a huge volume of information on user spending habits. LinkedIn, too, has been trying to leverage the data on its site by, for example, making it more searchable.

IN Silicon Valley, it’s often said that the founder is the start-up. Friends of Mr. Hoffman describe him as a walking version of LinkedIn — data-intensive, straightforward, useful. In some ways, Mr. Hoffman and his company face similar challenges.

LinkedIn, which has soared in value, is under increasing pressure to perform. Though its membership has roughly doubled annually for each of the last seven years, many wonder if the company can possibly sustain its momentum. LinkedIn can’t afford a bad quarter: one miss could hobble the company, analysts say, by slamming its share price and encouraging its best engineers to jump to the Next Hot Thing.

“The problem is, most people are not like Reid,” said Joichi Ito, the director of M.I.T. Media Lab, who has known Mr. Hoffman for many years. “Most people waste their time, so the question is, can a work-oriented site become extremely popular, when many people are not as invested in productivity?” Mr. Hoffman himself is feeling the squeeze. But he tries not to pay attention to the markets and says he has checked LinkedIn’s stock price only six times since May.

“The thing I’m working on with LinkedIn in is to create something massive and effective; the strategy horizon is three to five years,” he said.

The public markets may be less patient. Meanwhile, he also has to answer to his investors at Greylock, who are likely wondering whether he can keep the hits coming. His reputation is an advantage, but also a liability. He is so busy trying to filter out the noise that he has little down time at all — at most, a few hours on Friday and Saturday evenings. This past August, he went to Australia for his first real vacation since 2002, the year he founded LinkedIn.

Before he left, even the hyperkinetic Mr. Hoffman conceded that he could use a break — at least a small one. “I’m functioning at 60 percent capacity,” he said.

nytimes.com

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From: Glenn Petersen11/14/2011 8:54:05 PM
2 Recommendations   of 226
 
LKND is registering 8 million shares, of which 1,271,255 will be sold by the company and 6,728,745 by some of the shareholders.

The registration statement:

sec.gov

LinkedIn CEO, other insiders prepare to sell stock

Monday, November 14, 2011

(11-14) 17:02 PST SAN FRANCISCO, (AP) --

LinkedIn's employees and early backers plan to sell more than 6.7 million shares as they reap the gains from a rapid run-up in the online professional networking service's market value.

CEO Jeff Weiner wants to sell more than 372,000 shares, the most among LinkedIn's management. The company listed the amounts in a regulatory filing Monday.

After two years as LinkedIn's CEO, Weiner is in line for a $29 million windfall from the sale. That's based on Monday's closing price of $78.49 for LinkedIn's shares. The stock sold for $45 per share in an initial public offering completed in May.

Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn's co-founder and executive chairman, isn't selling any of his nearly 19 million shares.

LinkedIn Corp. plans to sell nearly 1.3 million additional shares to help finance its expansion.

© 2011 Hearst Communications Inc.

sfgate.com

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (115)11/15/2011 11:24:07 AM
From: Brasco One
   of 226
 
nice job on giving people heads up on the lockup expiry. hope you are making money on the short side.

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (115)11/15/2011 3:49:59 PM
From: stockman_scott
   of 226
 
Bain Capital Ventures is planning to sell all of the 3.71 million shares it holds in professional networking company LinkedIn Corp., according to a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. In total, the company’s early backers and its employees plan to sell a combined 6.7 million shares. LinkedIn aims to raise as much as $703 million via the secondary offering. Bloomberg previously reported the news of Bain’s exit.

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To: Brasco One who wrote (116)11/16/2011 2:41:55 AM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 226
 
I have made money trading both sides. I like the company and think that they perform a useful function. I also think that they will be sucessful in the long term. I just feel that the current valuation is too high. I am short now, but with tight stops. I respect the low float.

LinkedIn Seeks To Bolster Shares

By SHAYNDI RAICE
Wall Street Journal
November 16, 2011

LinkedIn Corp., a poster child for this year's spate of Web-company initial public offerings, is taking steps to try to keep the price of its newly public shares from taking a nose dive next week.

The Mountain View, Calif., Internet company has been preparing for a flood of its shares to enter the market on Monday. That's the day the professional networking site will hit the end of its lock-up period, the 180-day term after an IPO during which insiders such as employees and early investors are forbidden from selling the company's stock. LinkedIn could see as many as 24 million shares released to the stock market when its lock-up expires, with the increased supply of shares potentially diluting its stock price.

So this week, LinkedIn said in a regulatory filing that it would have a $500 million secondary offering. In an effort to control the number of shares on the market—and who ends up getting their hands on them—the company said that while it is selling eight million additional shares through the offering, anyone who sells now has to agree to another 90-day lock-up period. The move is designed to temper the overall effect of the lock-up's expiry.

LinkedIn said in its filing on Monday that the stock sale—which is an expansion of an offering that it disclosed earlier this month—is intended to ensure "an orderly distribution of shares." With a secondary offering, which is marketed typically to institutional investors, a company can handpick big investors who are generally long-term and stable holders of stock.

But others said LinkedIn's move to try to control its share price would amount to naught. Ken Sena, an Evercore analyst, said he still has concerns about the 24 million new shares that will go onto the market. "What happens when you increase supply—then you're talking about a lower [stock] price," he said.

Like Groupon Inc., Zillow Inc. and other hot Web companies that have gone public this year, LinkedIn offered only a small percentage of its overall shares to investors when it went public in May. The strategy—known as a "small float" strategy—coupled outsized investor demand with a tiny supply of shares to keep a stock price high. So far, it's worked: LinkedIn's stock has been trading well above its IPO price of $45 a share over the past six months.

Yet LinkedIn has faced criticism for what some Wall Street analysts say is an "expensive" stock price as it remains unprofitable and is spending heavily to grow. Earlier this month, the company reported a loss for the third quarter, while its revenue more than doubled.

The new share offering of at least eight million shares would nearly double LinkedIn's float of nine million shares, the number of shares outstanding that are available for trading. There will be 97 million shares outstanding after the offering.

But under the terms of the offering, top LinkedIn executives—including chief executive Jeff Weiner and chief financial officer Steve Sordello—can sell 10% of their current holdings on the condition that they agree to yet another 90-day lock-up period, according to the company's regulatory filing.

LinkedIn chairman and founder Reid Hoffman also agreed to an additional 90-day lock-up period but isn't selling any of his current shares, according to the regulatory filing. Venture-capital firm Sequoia Capital, one of LinkedIn's early investors, agreed to similar terms.

Other early investors are taking the opportunity to cash out. Bain Capital, an early investor in the Web company, is selling all of its 3.7 million class B shares, or 4.3% of those outstanding, according to the regulatory filing. Other sellers include a venture-capital fund affiliated with SAP AG, which plans to offer 145,300 class B shares.
LinkedIn executives are currently on a road show to pitch the secondary offering to institutional investors, said people familiar with the matter.

The road show will last for one or two more days before the company decides on a final price, which will most likely be at a discount to the current stock price, said one of the people. LinkedIn's shares closed at $74.86, down 4.6%, or $3.63, in 4 p.m. composite trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Lise Buyer, a Silicon Valley-based IPO consultant, said doing a secondary offering prior to a lock-up's expiration isn't uncommon. Knowledge of a large overhang in a stock can often serve to attract short sellers and keep enthusiasm from large institutions muted, she said.

"An organized effort to clear the overhang makes particular sense in the context of a stock with a small float," she said.

—Matt Jarzemsky contributed to this article. Write toShayndi Raice at shayndi.raice@wsj.com

online.wsj.com

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (115)11/16/2011 7:56:21 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 226
 
The LNKD follow-on offering has been priced at $71 per share:

LinkedIn Announces Pricing of Its Follow-On Offering

Press Release
Nove. 16, 2011, 6:49 p.m. EDT

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Nov 16, 2011 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) -- LinkedIn Corporation /quotes/zigman/5131883/quotes/nls/lnkd LNKD +0.69% today announced the pricing of 8,750,000 shares of its Class A common stock at $71.00 per share in a follow-on public offering. In addition, the underwriters have a 30-day option to purchase up to 1,312,500 additional shares of Class A common stock from LinkedIn to cover over-allotments, if any. LinkedIn will sell approximately 1,300,000 shares in the offering; the remaining shares will be sold by existing stockholders. As part of the underwriting procedures, all selling stockholders, as well as all officers and directors, have agreed to lock-up agreements for a period of 90 days following the offering.

The principal purposes of this offering are to raise capital for the company, facilitate an orderly distribution of shares and increase the company's public float. The proceeds of the primary portion of the offering will be used to provide additional working capital for LinkedIn, including further expansion of its product development and field sales organizations, for capital expenditures and potential strategic acquisitions or investments.

The bookrunning managers of the offering are Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, BofA Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC. Allen & Company LLC and UBS Securities LLC are co-managers.

A registration statement relating to these securities was declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 16, 2011. This offering is being made by the company and selling stockholders only by means of a written prospectus forming part of the effective registration statement. Copies of the final prospectus relating to the offering may be obtained from the offices of Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, Attention: Prospectus Department, 180 Varick Street, 2nd Floor, New York, New York 10014, or by email at prospectus@morganstanley.com; BofA Merrill Lynch, 4 World Financial Center, New York, NY 10080, Attn: Prospectus Department, or email dg.prospectus_requests@baml.com; or J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Attention: Broadridge Financial Solutions, 1155 Long Island Avenue, Edgewood, New York 11717, or by telephone at (866) 803-9204.

This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state.

This news release was distributed by GlobeNewswire, www.globenewswire.com

SOURCE: LinkedIn

marketwatch.com

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From: Brasco One11/28/2011 3:38:35 PM
   of 226
 
lnkd pig collapsing here.

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From: Glenn Petersen12/13/2011 10:48:26 AM
   of 226
 
Some of the larger funds have built positions in LNKD:

Prudential acquires a 15.9% position:

bizjournals.com

T. Rowe Price acquires a 13.2% position:

blogs.wsj.com

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From: Glenn Petersen1/7/2012 10:23:51 PM
   of 226
 
Sifting the Professional From the Personal

By RANDALL STROSS
New Yotk Times
January 7, 2012

AMONG online networking sites, LinkedIn stands out as the specialized one — it’s for professional connections only.

That distinction has given it staying power as Facebook’s predecessors have dropped away and as Facebook has grown to dwarf other sites. By keeping professional identity pristinely separate from the personal and the messy, LinkedIn, which is now publicly traded, has grown to more than 135 million members in 200 countries.

But challengers have arrived, in the form of apps. Rather than starting from scratch, independent software developers are trying to add a professional layer to Facebook — and are hoping that users will accept a less-than-complete separation of the professional and the personal.

“LinkedIn likes to say, ‘Facebook is for fun and LinkedIn is for professional purposes.’ What I like to argue is that’s no longer correct,” says Rick Marini, the chief executive of BranchOut, a start-up that offers a Facebook app for job-related networking.

“I get asked for introductions to my LinkedIn connections all the time.” Mr. Marini says. “The problem is, these are people I’ve met for five minutes at a conference and I don’t feel comfortable vouching for them. My Facebook friends are all my real friends.” (The gregarious Mr. Marini has an impressive number of “real friends”: 1,800 Facebook friends, he says.)

When users join BranchOut, the software pulls information from Facebook about their education, current employer and job title, leaving out everything else.

Excluding things like indiscreet photos, however, doesn’t necessarily make Facebook an excellent basis for a professional identity. BranchOut shows prospective employers a person’s network of Facebook friends. These aren’t likely to have been assembled the way they are at LinkedIn, with the idea that one’s connections will be reviewed by strangers checking on professional qualifications.

“There are some people I’d prefer not to interact with in my professional career, but I’m still good friends with,” says Tom Chevalier, global product manager at Monster Worldwide. Mr. Chevalier oversees Monster’s BeKnown, a Facebook app that competes directly with BranchOut.

BeKnown pulls more information from Facebook than BranchOut does, but it lists friends specifically chosen by the user, and only if those friends consent to be included. BeKnown’s design suggests that users must be careful about what parts of their Facebook identities should be imported into their professional profile.

Why not invest the same amount of time building a profile over at LinkedIn? Mr. Chevalier points to the fact that the average Facebook user visits the Web site more than 30 times a month, and he contends that convenience is important. “By having this proximity to Facebook,” he says, “we can help users think about their career more frequently.”

Applicants, of course, want to go where the most prospective employers are found; and employers, where the most candidates are. In both cases, this works in LinkedIn’s favor.

LinkedIn’s single largest business is selling access to information about its members. They are treated as “passive” job candidates: they aren’t necessarily seeking a job but have signaled their receptivity to new professional possibilities by joining LinkedIn and providing details about work experiences and skills.

David Hahn, vice president for product management at LinkedIn, says his company’s business clients “do not have to put up a ‘Help Wanted’ sign in the window and see who comes in.” He adds: “They can instead proactively go after the right person by looking over the professional experiences and skills of our 135 million-plus members.”

The company says 75 of the Fortune 100 companies are clients.

LinkedIn receives an average of 95 million unique monthly visitors, according to comScore data for November 2011. The Facebook apps are lagging far behind. BranchOut, founded in July 2010, is drawing about one million unique monthly visitors, occupying 298th place last week on AppData.com’s leader board for Facebook apps; BeKnown, introduced in July 2011, has only 170,000.

MR. MARINI concedes that LinkedIn has command of the professions, but he says that leaves ample opportunity for BranchOut to serve others. LinkedIn does a good job addressing the smaller part of the work force considered to be “white collar/managerial,” he says. The remainder, he adds, tends to be on Facebook — “blue-collar, hourly, temporary, cashiers, clerks, construction workers, returning military.”

Mr. Hahn of LinkedIn says his company “welcomes anyone who thinks in terms of a career instead of a job.” Using a broad definition of “professional” adopted by the International Labor Organization, LinkedIn says there are an estimated 640 million professionals out of a global work force of approximately 3.3 billion, leaving plenty of room for the site to grow.

Mr. Hahn notes that Facebook users clearly love games like CityVille and Texas HoldEm Poker, which draw millions of users. But the relatively minuscule use of the Facebook apps that venture into professional profiles or networking, he says, is “evidence that users clearly want to keep their professional lives separate.”

Randall Stross is an author based in Silicon Valley and a professor of business at San Jose State University. E-mail: stross@nytimes.com.

nytimes.com

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