From Social Media To Semantic Web, LinkedIn Caffeinates NYC & San Fran

Extra, Extra. . . read all about it, LinkedIn offers free coffee to residents and commuters in New York City and San Francisco with the launch of its latest product. Holy Cappuccino, Starbucks. . . you deserve a break today!

LinkedIn, long thought to be the social network that distinguished itself with a focus on business-related topics has planted a Semantic Web marker with the release this month of LinkedIn Today, an online news portal for the site. Sort of like on steroids, the network aggregates popular news items that bubble to the top by its 100+ million users.

Similar to what the Huffington Post is doing in the semantic technology space (or what many are calling Web 3.0), LinkedIn is employing artificial intelligence or the 'wisdom of machines' to curate the 'wisdom of (its) crowds" to surface news that is relevant and in real-time.

With IBM supercomputer Watson's recent success on the TV game show Jeopardy, its easy to see to how machines are slowly picking up some of the heavy lifting when it comes to providing content for publishing sites. In essence, the social news platform will aggregate the most shared news from its business users.

To promote its launch, LinkedIn is using food trucks in San Francisco and New York City to provide a free cup of Joe in both locales. The coffee vans will be easy to spot, as they are shrink-wrapped in 'LinkedIn Today' ads, and Twitter followers will be able to ear-mark their locations since all of their stops will be posted to their Twitter account throughout the week.

These promotional efforts will assist LinkedIn in keeping at the forefront of the news as is prepares for a public offering, in advance of Facebook or Twitter stealing its thunder. According to a TechCrunch report, "LinkedIn co-founder and chairman Reid Hoffman sent a personalized note to the network's "first million members", thanking (them) for their supporting the network in its early days."

So, Starbucks, you're on alert -  coffee sales might be a little less than optimal in the Big Apple and the Silicon Valley over the next couple of days… just saying...nothing personal - it's just business!