OPEN Forum, American Express’ community for small business owners is now OPEN for LinkedIn members

January 27, 2010

Ed. note: This belongs to a series of posts on how web sites and services are integrating LinkedIn functionality using the recently launched LinkedIn API. Thanks to Marcy Shinder, Vice President at American Express OPEN, for this week’s post.

We created OPEN Forum, American Express OPEN’s online community for business owners, to provide them with a place to connect and exchange insights that could help them build their businesses. We initially designed the site just for our business Cardmembers because we felt this “credentialization” as a business owner could help minimize the clutter that befalls some other networking sites. But, when we learned that LinkedIn was looking to open up its platform, it gave us an opportunity to extend the platform for many more business professionals while still maintaining the standards that our members are accustomed to.

With the LinkedIn API, millions of entrepreneurs and other business professionals on LinkedIn will now be able to actively participate in discussions on OPEN Forum by using their LinkedIn credentials – regardless of whether they are card members or not. Also, via the oAuth login, LinkedIn members can now engage with our industry experts and business owners on the Idea Hub, which features a wide array of videos and articles from business and social media thought-leaders like Guy Kawasaki (Alltop), Henry Blodget (The Business Insider), and Adam Ostrow (Mashable) among others.

Enabling more than 55 million business-minded members of LinkedIn to join the conversation on OPEN Forum provides more opportunities for our members to make those connections that can help them grow their businesses. I’m also excited about the possibilities for LinkedIn members to participate in the exchange of ideas that can help them in their own business endeavors.

I look forward to seeing you on OPEN Forum