LinkedIn deal: Microsoft, I’ve got a blog I’ll sell you for HALF that…


If you love LinkedIn, raise your hand.

OK, I can’t see whether you’re doing that, but I’m going to assume you’re not. Because, you know, why would you?

A lot of people — like, a billion or so — love their Facebook. Even I can summon up some fondness for some of its features, although there’s a lot I don’t like (which is probably why it’s so popular — there are so many features, there’s bound to be something you’ll like).

Quite a few journalists and political geeks like me — oh, there must me dozens of us — adore Twitter, and can’t get enough of it. Seriously, if it paid, I would likely spend 14 hours a day doing little else.

There are those who feel a similar attachment to Instagram and Snapchat, just as there are people who like “reality” TV. To each his own. (I almost said “more power to them,” but then I reflected on all those Trumpkins who I assume love reality TV, and chose a different shopworn phrase).

But who really gets a kick out of LinkedIn? Oh, plenty of us are on it, and have loads of connections (I’ve lost count, but I passed 1,000 years ago), because we think we have to. But who likes it, with its stream of relatively meaningless “endorsements” and other uninteresting distractions?

Well, Microsoft does, to the tune of $26 billion, with a B:

Tech giant Microsoft said Monday that it had reached a deal to acquire professional social networking site LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in cash.

The deal values LinkedIn at $196 per share, representing a 49.5% premium over Friday’s closing price.

The companies said their respective boards had unanimously approved the deal. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner will keep the title and report to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

“The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world’s professionals,” Nadella said in a statement. “Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics as we seek to empower every person and organization on the planet.”…

Yo, Bill Gates (or whoever is in charge over there now) — I have a blog that a few people actually seem to enjoy, at least a little. And unlike LinkedIn, it even turns a tiny, tiny profit. If I had someone who could sell ads, it could do better.

I’ll sell it to you, and stay on and keep writing it (if you’d like), for half that. Nay, for 1/26th of that. I’m not proud…

12 thoughts on “LinkedIn deal: Microsoft, I’ve got a blog I’ll sell you for HALF that…

  1. Doug Ross

    I’ll give you an example of the value of Linkedin (but not $26 billion worth),

    A friend is interviewing with a company and has a schedule set up for this week to meet with five different people, Using LInkedin, she is able to find out the background and skills of the people who she will be meeting with and that will help tailor her questions and offer opportunity to engage more coherently.

    But anyway I think Microsoft is buying Linkedin for the push capability for marketing rather than the networking. Although it does help identify key influencers.

    Twitter is fine except for the firehose effect. The interface is horrible.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      You say that about Twitter because you are not part of its key demographic — which, as I say, consists of journalists and people who work in politics. To us, the interface and everything else about it is ideal.

      As for the firehose thing — you control that yourself. You can follow just 5 feeds or fewer if you’d like. I follow a modest (for one with promiscuous interests) 593. Some people follow thousands, but then you DO get a lot of stuff you don’t want.

      LinkedIn is useful, as we honestly tell our clients. But it’s not fun. It’s just a work thing.

      Twitter, to some of us, is both a work thing AND fun…

      1. Doug Ross

        “You say that about Twitter because you are not part of its key demographic — which, as I say, consists of journalists and people who work in politics.”

        You’re not serious are you? I have no doubt that there are more tweets related to sports and entertainment than politics. How does Twitter monetize the tweets of journalists?

        Of the top 10 Twitter accounts associated with people, only Obama is a non-entertainer. Twitter’s demographic is millennials and sports fans. The New York Times is ranked 32nd , CNN 37th, BBC 45th. My favorite Indian actor, Amiir Kahn, has 17 million followers compared to Huffington Post’s 7 million.

        By the way, you’re ranked #2,061,498… only about 89 million followers away from Katy Perry.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          I’m just telling you what I’ve always heard.

          Also, it fits with my own circle of acquaintances — journos and politicos tend to be the only people who like it. Others among my friends are dismissive.

          I’m thinking of this from the perspective of a generator of Tweets, more than as a consumer of them. The people I know who Tweet generally fit the mold I describe…

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Dang! I know I’ve read analyses in the past pointing out how journalists and politicos tend to be among the most avid Twitter users, but all I could find was that one story linked above about why journos prefer Twitter to Facebook — which isn’t the same thing.

            Maybe I’ll run across it again sometime in the future.

            Full disclosure — I’ve also read that Twitter is more popular among liberals than conservatives. But I’d rather not be associated with that…

          2. Brad Warthen Post author

            OK, that piece sorta makes my point. After noting that Facebook and Pinterest are more popular among the general population, it says:

            Yet journalists — and, quite often, the organizations that employ them — clearly prefer Twitter. They put enormous effort into building Twitter brands and coming up with Twitter strategies. That’s the impression the social-media vendors get and the social-network employees get. It’s true for every journalist I know, and it’s true for me, too.

            The reason, I think, is that Twitter is simply more useful for our jobs. For better or worse, it’s where news breaks today. It’s also where a lot of real-time reporting happens. The bulk of Robert Costa’s shutdown reporting happened on Twitter. For weeks on end, he managed to dominate the top political story in the country in 140-character bursts. As a journalist, if you wanted to stay on top of much of the best reporting you simply have to be on Twitter.

            The fact that so many journalists are on Twitter has made Twitter incredibly professionally valuable to journalists. Tweeting your articles ensures they’re seen — and discussed, and retweeted — within a community that includes not just your friends and peers, but the people who might hire you someday. (Costa, for instance, will be coming to The Washington Post in January!) That’s much less true on Facebook. It’s readers, not colleagues, who dominate Facebook.

            1. Doug Ross

              Yes, journalists prefer Twitter but that doesn’t make them the target demographic for Twitter. Journalists are just another group of producers. Twitter is interested in the followers to target for ads.

              I don’t understand why local reporters don’t use all the tools they have at their disposal much more than they do. Tomorrow’s paper is old news. People are generating far more editorial content on a daily basis.

              A reporter/opinion writer at a paper should be using Twitter multiple times per day, Youtube a couple times a week.

              1. Brad Warthen Post author


                And of COURSE tailoring yourself to journalists would be a terrible business model. Because very, very few people in the world are journalists.

                It’s just that as a (tiny) group, they’re more enthusiastic about it than normal people are…

                And I see the best journalists using Twitter extensively, often to report moment-by-moment when they’re covering something. John Monk does this, as does Eva Moore at Free Times. In the broadcast sphere, Jack Kuenzie’s a good one to follow.

                John O’Connor was one of the best Twitter users in SC, which helped him land a new gig with NPR awhile back. Come to think of it, the most avid journalistic users of Twitter in SC have tended to move on, such as Adam Beam — which is a shame…

  2. Doug Ross

    Also, take a look at the trajectory of Twitter’s stock price. Peaked at about 70, now at 14 and headed downward. They don’t know how to make money off it and I would suggest that is because the interface is too scattershot and the signal to noise ratio is too low. And the artificial 140 character limit is more of an annoyance than a benefit.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yep. My hope is that it makes just enough money to keep going. My demographic loves it, but that’s not enough to make it profitable. Meanwhile, sucky ol’ Facebook makes a mint…

      And I love the character limit. It prevents the bloviating you see sometimes on FB. It’s to the point, and immediately lets you know whether you want to click on the link (because most worthwhile Tweets are links to more info)…

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