LinkedIn History

Written by Nexcerpt on December 7th, 2011 in Dating & Online.
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Writing today at ERE.net, Krista Bradford quoted me regarding LinkedIn’s Grey Goo potential. That raised a question regarding how to find your LinkedIn member number, which Krista explained at Intellerati.

I was LinkedIn member number 1,926,394. I created my account 2005 Feb 07.

Not many people have made public their combination of LinkedIn member number and join date. Among the very distinct member number / join date combinations found in a quick public search:

  222,445   2004-02-11
  475,291   2004-05-14
  625,874   2004-05-21
  959,437   2004-08-12

The earliest specific and consistent claim (with both member number and join date) may be Andreas Ramos, who joined LinkedIn on 2003 Jun 05 as member 6,701. This is consistent with LinkedIn’s own report that “The site officially launched on May 5, 2003. At the end of the first month in operation, LinkedIn had a total of 4,500 members in the network.

Fascinating to read: contemporaneous comments from Joi Ito, a friend of LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman. Look especially for the comments posted by Reid Hoffman himself, that week. Cited there, an interesting and still relevant graphic of Social Networking Models, by Ross Mayfield. Interesting comments from Clay Shirky on the nascent LinkedIn:

LinkedIn, a new viral networking competitor to friendster and ryze, there are already signs of Vilfredo Pareto’s “predictable imbalance” — as of 10 pm EST, the network shows 200+ members. The most connected user has 83 connections, but the average user has only 3 (and therefore, I feel pretty safe in guessing, the median user has either 2 or 1.)

Hehe… everything old is new again! See Kevin’s comment at 2005 May 15 18:15:

I have no idea what linkedin is, but they just sent me 4 emails asking me to confirm my email address. Where the hell did they get my email address and what do they want me for? My email address is private and nobody knows it, so them asking me to confirm it is extremely worrying to me. I am unemployed and have no money, so it can’t be a business thing. If it’s an invitation from someone I know they should make it clear who it’s from. Sorry, I don’t trust them one bit.

Although, subsequently LinkedIn staff helped him discover what cause those messages. Imagine that: a LinkedIn staff member helping you… personally. LOL

For those inclined to play further, here is a Google Docs spreadsheet of all I’ve found for data connecting LinkedIn member number and join date.

Scattered posts online claim that LinkedIn has not always used sequential member numbers, but the available data suggests they normally do. So far, the only clear exception is a LinkedIn executive claiming to have received a member number ca. 2,000 after joining in 2010. I suspect that may be a LinkedIn executive account, created in early 2003 when the service launched, and passed forward with the job.
 

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