The New York Times and LinkedIn have entered into a partnership that will see LinkedIn users “shown personalized news targeting their industry verticals … and will then be prompted to share those stories will professional associates.” Meanwhile, NYT readers will see a widget directing them to LinkedIn (see image below).
This is an excellent move – I’ve written often and at length about the need for news organisations to get a handle on online distribution. The significance of the NYT’s move is that it recognises that the walls need to come down, that your content needs to be where the reader is, and not the other way around.
After all, you don’t distribute newspapers in libraries alone, do you?
In another example of this issue, Jeff Jarvis wrote about Ed Roussel’s musings on the possibility of newspapers handing over distribution and advertising to Google. Frankly, that would be suicidal. Deals with the likes of LinkedIn offer a much more promising and healthier future for news. It also offers another indication of the direction news continues to head in: personalised information through social networks.
The fact that Google’s social network has not been hugely successful (nor has its partnership with MySpace) may turn out to be a vulnerability and better for the news distribution marketplace on the whole.
Until, of course, they buy LinkedIn.