Happy Birthday LinkedIn!

I am frequently asked “how old is LinkedIn,” and my response lately has been “I don’t remember.” Here’s an easy way to remember – LinkedIn started on May fifth, five years ago. Happy birthday LinkedIn!

On their birthday blog post they show some interesting stats, announcing LinkedIn is over twenty-two million users (more appropriately would be “signups”), and their staff has grown from ten people five years ago to almost three hundred people today.

Also on their blog post you’ll see the two founders, Reid Hoffman and Allen Blue. I thought that Konstantin Guericke was also a founder. Note that Reid is the Chairman of the Board (and President?), working with current CEO Dan Nye. Konstantin moved on to found and run Jaxtr, but Allen Blue is still in active management at LinkedIn, apparently as VP of Product Strategy.

I started on LinkedIn during my last job, although I forgot about that account and actually created another account during my job search, a little over two years ago. So I’ve probably had an account at LinkedIn in their first two years – how about you?

I’m frequently asked if I’m an employee or evangelist of LinkedIn. I respond that I am not. I think LinkedIn is a great tool for professionals, and that you can get a lot of benefit from having a good profile and a decent strategy on LinkedIn… but I realize there are issues with LinkedIn. For now, though, I say, ride the wave!

What are the problems? I won’t go into them here. Heck, Scott Allen, author of The Virtual Handshake didn’t go into them on his post where he talks about backing off of his LinkedIntelligence blog. His point #3 is titled “LinkedIn is doing some things far worse now than they were two years ago.” Well, I can’t tell you what they were doing two years ago because I really wasn’t paying much attention. And if they flew me out to their Silicon Valley office I’d be happy to talk about what I think they are doing wrong now, and what they could do to improve, but that is … well, about as likely as me going to the moon.

Nonetheless, I still think the tool should fit into your personal branding and networking strategy… as one component. If you haven’t started yet, or at a loss on what to do, check out my book. If you don’t want to pay the 19.95 + S&H, download the eBook for just 11.95. After reading it you should be able to wrap your brain around LinkedIn and know how it would fit into your your overall social strategy.

Again, happy birthday LinkedIn – we’re anxious to see what the future has in store!