The New York Times and LinedIn are announcing a partnership that will see LinkedIn users being shown personalised news on NYTimes.com, based on their LinkedIn profile – e.g. chemical engineers will see stories about chemical companies in the business and technology sections. Screenshot below and more details on readwriteweb and Techcrunch.
I think this is kind of cool, but is probably (hopefully) just a sign of things to come.
The cool bit is the delivering a personalised service (NYTimes news) against a pre-existing profile on a different site (LinkedIn). I haven’t heard of this happening before. The fact that the profile is pre-existing is critical because this makes the service accessible to the mainstream who won’t bother to build a profile from scratch because the early period is not rewarding enough.
However, whilst it is great to save a little time by having stories about your industry brought to the front page of the website for you, what would be really cool would be to be able to manually say ‘and I’m also interested in politics’ and/or ‘gardening’, and then bring in other content feeds, which would also be filtered. If you could then further enrich your profile by voting stories up and down things are really starting to get exciting. And by now you also have a profile that would be great for targeting ads – so long as you do it responsibly.