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But Linked In needed something to make its site “stickier.” Sure, it was great for job hunting, but users had little incentive to visit when they were gainfully employed.
Linked In was even at risk of losing users to Facebook, which some had started using for professional networking.
The solution was Linked In News, a homepage section that aggregated stories from more than 10,000 publishers and blogs, and displayed headlines specific to each user’s company, industry and network.
But the kind of sway Roth has makes him quite unlike other editors. And when you examine the multiple aspects of Linked In’s media operation — a popular and growing native-ads business; tens of millions of potential “content producers” churning out nearly 40,000 posts per week at zero cost; a personalization engine; a staff of top-notch, in-house engineers able to refine those platforms and possibly develop new ones; an audience that’s larger, wealthier and more engaged than that of the average website and the luxury of not having two robust non-media-related revenue streams — you realize it may very well be the most formidable title in business publishing and Roth, the most powerful man in business journalism.
The social network In October 2002, Reid Hoffman convened a team of four former colleagues to create a new kind of social network.
The idea was simple: People would create profiles (digital résumés, essentially), add colleagues to a contact list and then share employment opportunities through that network.
Four months later, Linked In hired Roth away from Fortune to be its inaugural executive editor.
The company wasn’t satisfied serving machine-aggregated links alone and wanted someone with editorial expertise to shape its burgeoning media business.
What Linked In would become in publishing would make Linked In Today look downright quaint.