March 22, 2011 at 4:51 PM ET
LinkedIn, the website for professionals to post their resumes, boast and share hundreds of their "connections" (read: networking opportunities) and have other people say nice stuff about them (even if it's not true), now has 100 million members worldwide.
The site for business types began in 2003 with early adopters and really mushroomed in the past few years, driven by a flagging economy and an accelerated social network scene. Nearly half — 44 million — of LinkedIn's members are from the United States.
"Today, LinkedIn reached a major milestone: 100 million professionals worldwide," said LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner on the site's blog. "We’re now growing at roughly one million new LinkedIn members every week, the equivalent of a professional joining the site at faster than one member per second."
From those who are job-hunting to recruiters, the site has been a way for professionals to connect on a worldwide basis, Weiner said.
"For example, take Dutch tech consultant Henk Van Ess, who, after frustration with his 3G iPhone’s battery life, used LinkedIn Groups to find partners and start a global business selling iPhone batteries," he wrote. "There’s also, Barbara Lemaire who found key benefactors for her non-profit organization on LinkedIn, helping homeless women and children rebuild their lives. Then, there are the personal stories, like Alice Shapiro, who after losing her job and home, used a LinkedIn connection to help her become a published author."
The site is free to join and use, although various levels of paying memberships get you more info. LinkedIn supports itself with advertising, business services and membership fees, and did file to go public earlier this year.
LinkedIn is sharing a batch of statistics about its users. Among those I like best: There are 74 members who list their job as "Elvis tribute artist," and one who is a "martini whisperer."
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