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Boring By Design

Boring By Design

It seems Silicon Valley has taken a recession-proof interest in community-oriented web sites. The newest site to make the spotlight is somewhat surprising simply because it's the least likely to succeed among the other big names.

Nevertheless, LinkedIn will be announcing that they've raised $53 million in capital to keep their venture thriving. If you've never been to LinkedIn, don't worry, you're not missing much. It is, by design, pretty dull. The site is meant to be a place where business professionals can connect with one another; it's a virtual rolodex of sorts. The primarily text-driven pages are tantamount to trading business cards, which is really the primary focus of the site. If you're looking for crazy pics from last night's rager or constant status updates on your friend's whereabouts, this isn't the place for you. But if you're simply seeking a place to promote yourself and your work, it's a great place to play the "do you know[insert name here]" game.

LinkedIn CEO Dan Nye hopes to keep the site simple, and says the company will use the investment to make acquisitions and expand its overseas operation. With other sites rolling out more applications, LinkedIn staunchly maintains that they are strictly a professional site. And while they only have an average of 23 million members to Facebook's 115 million members, they're growing at a much faster rate. So maybe boring is the new cool?

With the average age of a LinkedIn user at 41, do you think the company could roll out a better design to attract younger professionals? Or do you think that would threaten the integrity of the site? [New York Times]

Posted: 6/18/08