LinkedIn CEO stresses personal brand creation

During a Silicon Valley panel discussion Monday evening, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner emphasized how the online venture he runs enables members to create their own professional brand.

“We think of ourselves first and foremost as a platform,” Weiner said. The cornerstone of the LinkedIn social network for professionals is the profile, enabling members to develop their own brand and express their experience, skills, and ambitions, he said. “When people do a search for people like you, your profile is going to show up.” LinkedIn, a social network focused in the career arena, has more than 100 million members worldwide.

“The content that is rooted within this platform will ultimately create value for people who are willing to share their identity” and build out their networks and professional brands, Weiner said. He also shared LinkedIn’s intentions to add a volunteer services field to member profiles.

Weiner stressed the need for content optimization to make content more manageable. “Once media is digital, it needs to be optimized through machine learning algorithms, it needs to be social to enjoy [viral distribution] and it needs to be curated, because we’re all becoming completely overwhelmed by all the information out there.”

The panel session, sponsored by the Churchill Club business and technology forum, also featured Ari Emanuel, co-CEO and director of William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, which is responsible for shepherding the careers of Hollywood stars such as Mark Wahlberg. At one point during the evening, a discussion with the audience ensued about why Emanuel was not participating in LinkedIn and was not not sharing his information.

“You don’t get the right to have [my information],” Emanuel responded, asking what he would get out of being on LinkedIn and what people would get out of knowing who he represents. Weiner said LinkedIn was about empowering more people to become  successful like Emanuel in their career endeavors.

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