linkedin020608.pngLinkedIn, the businessperson’s social network, is offering a new way for companies to gather valuable background information when they’re making decisions. It’s mining the data in its own network to identify people who are experts on trends, companies and people related to financial markets, and pairing them with customers.

It’s “a Web 2.0 version of the Gerson-Lehman Group‘s expert network,” Tim O’Reilly calls it. GLG puts together networks of experts to provide feedback on any topic, which subscribers pay a large fee for.

LinkedIn tried its own professional network of “experts “last year (our coverage), which didn’t work. Now the company is apparently going to be tapping into the “social graph” of its users, analyzing relationships between people, their companies and professions to figure out who knows a lot about what.

Let’s say you’re looking at making an investment in a company that makes a certain product. You’d want to talk to the products’ buyers, its sellers, the former employees of the company. LinkedIn will be able to put you in touch with all of these people, as Mike Gamson, a general manager at LinkedIn, explains to eWeek.

The service isn’t going live for several months, and doesn’t have an available pricing fee but I, for one, am interested in trying it out for reporting on stories.

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