More social networking news to report. The NYTimes.com announced today that it’s forming a “strategic relationship” with LinkedIn that will give LinkedIn members a “more focused and personalized experience on the Business and Technology pages of NYTimes.com.” According to the press release LinkedIn users will be able to have news “relevant to their professional industries (based on “non-personally identifiable attributes”) recommended to them on the Business and Technology pages of NYTimes.com.”
Sounds great, right? We know, we know, streamlined social networking is the wave of the future. But still, there’s something about all this strategic targeting, and relevant information that makes us nervous. Would it really be so bad if one were “recommended” articles that had nothing whatsoever to do with one’s personalized interests? (or “non-personally identifiable attributes”). You know like how newspapers used to be printed all willy-nilly without specific sections. If someone were able to develop a newspaper reader like that online we bet we’d have a lot better understanding of Wall St. and a little less awareness of Upper East Side weddings. Anyway! Considering that LinkedIn has 25 million users, in the grand scheme of things this is probably a good plan for the Times.