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LinkedIn is launching a new publication series designed to showcase the potential of its social network to enhance the economic graph. Called LinkedIn Lists, the intent is to highlight select members and companies on the professional social network LinkedIn says are “doing extraordinary work and transforming their fields.”
The first part (dubbed the “Next Wave”) of this quarterly series includes 150 professionals across 15 industries — all of whom have been named to the top of their field and are under 35 years of age. In a way, you could think of this as a variation of Forbes’ 30 under 30 lists or something like that.
“Our goal is to make the world’s professionally relevant news and knowledge accessible through LinkedIn,” said the company’s executive editor, Dan Roth. “One of the ways we do that is by finding the people and companies who are making news and spreading knowledge. The Next Wavers are setting trends, creating innovative ways to tackle problems, and establishing themselves as the leaders others want to follow.”
Just who are these so-called Next Wavers? LinkedIn includes names like Amazon’s senior product manager Laura Ridlehoover — she helped create the Dash button; photographer Gray Malin; Tinder cofounder and creator of dating app Bumble Whitney Wolfe; Zappos Holacracy implementation lead John Bunch; and Politico’s vice president of operations Katherine Lehr.
This inaugural list will include professionals across not only the enterprise and consumer technology space, but also entertainment, health care, energy, finance, retail and fashion, and more.
While LinkedIn hopes that its Lists series will prove valuable to people (“Hey, we have some great influencers and Subject Matter Experts”), it could also be viewed as an effort to just simply promote LinkedIn and show that if you keep your profile updated, you too could be on one of these lists. It could also be an enticement in the hopes that you’ll see value in publishing content on LinkedIn’s platform, which already more than 1 million members are using.
The names on these lists are not selected entirely by hand. The company says that it used data, insights, and nominations from its editors and influencers. Other factors that were weighed include which public profiles were viewed the most by their peers, social engagement performance, how often that person was in the news, and also data pulled from Newsle, acquired by LinkedIn in 2014.
LinkedIn’s “ultimate dream” (at least under chief executive Jeff Weiner) is to develop the economic graph, a digital map of the global economy. The intent is to understand the relationship between people, jobs, skills, companies, and professional knowledge — all in real time. Since LinkedIn has this data at hand, the company’s going to be able to leverage it to help demonstrate that the professional social network has value to people.
This content series is another step by LinkedIn to evolve its platform. It follows the addition of clipping to LinkedIn SlideShare last month and will likely appeal to users to follow these list-makers in order to find out what content they’re publishing on the site.
The total number of parts to this series remains unknown, but LinkedIn said the next one will focus on the best new voices on the social network — the ones who write and share content and have done a good job of developing their brands.
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