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by SixFigureStart | March 02, 2009

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Care to guess at one of the recession's Web winners? Forget Facebook. Not Monster. The hottest online network is currently...LinkedIn?

Through most of 2008, the site was rather sleepy and underused. That has changed considerably in the face of job cuts everywhere. In the past six months, it has just about doubled its page views as CareerBuilder.com stayed about even and Monster.com showed a slight decline; unique monthly visitors (7.7 million) jumped to twice the level from early 2008 (3.6 million). The company says that the site is adding new members at a rate of about one member per second.

The secret, says AdAge, is in its genetic makeup: With the unemployed either looking for personal connections or open positions, LinkedIn caters to both needs at the same time. Further, it relies less on help-wanted advertising than its peers do (with advertising down, that's great for the top line). LinkedIn's full of vitality of late, as founder Reid Hoffman returned to the chief executive position in December and the company hired a former Google-ite as its new VP in charge of products. Additionally, the site's web presence has been strengthened by other changes -- it started a new research division and opened itself up to third-party applications.

So sign up, or if you're a lapsed Link-er, go update your profile. You never know what -- or who -- that next connection will lead to.

--Posted by Todd Obolsky, Vault News & Commentary

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