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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

July 26, 2007 at 12:25 PM

LinkedIn on U.S. tour

Mountain View, Calif.-based LinkedIn visited our offices Wednesday, where spokeswoman Jane Corrigan told us Seattle is one of the fastest growing markets.

The site has 12 million users worldwide, and is seeing double-digit growth, she said. In a matter of weeks (between Corrigan setting up an appointment with me and arriving in Seattle), the number of users here jumped from 179,000 to about 181,000.

She said that many of the people on LinkedIn are venture capitalists and investment bankers, but that it covers all industries. In Seattle, some of the corporate customers include Expedia, T-Mobile USA, Amazon.com and Microsoft. A corporate customer pays a fee so that it can list job openings on the site.

Corrigan stressed that LinkedIn is a site where professionals can meet and “brand” themselves online, whereas other networking sites are for a user’s personal life.

So the question is, do you really want your photos from you vacation on the site where you are also linked to work colleagues or associates?

I wonder if LinkedIn is spreading this message because Facebook, which is increasingly being used for business networking, has started to eat away at its user base?

She did, however, show me a few neat tricks on LinkedIn:

— You can brand your LinkedIn site, for instance: www.linkedin.com/janedoe

— There’s a new Questions and Answers feature, where members can ask and answer whatever question is on their mind. A recent example is Robert Syputa, a Seattle-based senior analyst at Maravedis, asked: “How do incumbent mobile operators plan to confront the growing ‘open access’ of wireless networks?” He had received four answers in the last six days.

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