ideas@innovations
About Dominic | About Vivek | About Emi | E-mail Us E-mail |  On Twitter Follow |  On Facebook Fan |  RSS RSS Feed
Posted at 02:15 PM ET, 09/30/2011

Facebook vs. LinkedIn

VIEW THE GALLERY: See past innovators of the week.

It’s Friday, and that means it’s time for the innovator of the week (except for last week, when we were a little preoccupied). If you’re new to the series, you can catch up by reading the archives.

This week, tech enthusiasts were met with two big announcements: Amazon unveiled its Kindle Fire laptop, and Facebook changed its user interface again, introducing a timeline feature, among other changes. But, rather than pit Facebook and Amazon against each other, we decided to go with a less widely-reported pairing: Facebook and LinkedIn. (Full disclosure: The Washington Post Co.’s chairman and chief executive, Donald E. Graham, is a member of Facebook’s board of directors.)

Why Facebook and LinkedIn, you ask? Here’s the quick answer: Government.

LinkedIn: On Monday, President Obama took a trip to Mountain View, Calif., for a town hall at the Computer History Museum. The president took questions from the audience on the economy. The event was sponsored by LinkedIn, which focuses on professional, rather than personal, relationships online. The Post’s David Nakamura reported on the event.

The town hall was part of the Obama administration’s campaign to promote the president’s jobs plan. But it also marked another step in the evolving relationship between government and growing social media companies. After all, this wasn’t the president’s first social media town hall. He has held a Twitter town hall at the White House in July and a Facebook town hall in April.

Facebook: Speaking of Facebook, the company announced a number of changes to its social media platform this week, some of which have drawn complaints from confused users. But the announcement that received less press attention, but is arguably just as significant, is that Facebook has formed a political action committee (PAC). The PAC gives Facebook employees an opportunity to exercise their collective ability to influence the coming elections. Facebook is not the first technology heavyweight to form a PAC, and it will likely not be the last. But the move highlights the important role these companies see government playing in their future.

So, when it comes to innovation in government relations, which company moved the needle this week: Facebook or LinkedIn?

Read more news and ideas on Innovations:

Amazon, Facebook and the evolution of privacy

Silicon Valley and the next $100 billion stimulus

How to create a nonprofit in Silicon Valley

Follow @oninnovations on Twitter

Follow Ideas@Innovations on Tumblr

Become a fan on Facebook

By  |  02:15 PM ET, 09/30/2011

Categories:  Innovator of the Week, Technology

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company