High weirdness in Silicon Valley: The Top Stories on LinkedIn (9/2-9/8)

September 9, 2011

This series covers the top 5 stories that our members are sharing on LinkedIn Today each week. You can check out Daniel Roth‘s column here. – Ed

It was a short week, but long on Techland drama. As startup advisor and former Yahoo’er
Dave Nakayama Tweeted: “Bartz out at Yahoo! Arrington gives ultimatum to AOL. Google bids for Hulu. More buttered popcorn, please.”

Top 5 most-shared articles on LinkedIn (Sept. 2, 2011 – Sept. 8, 2011)

  1. And Now Yahoo Has Put Itself Up For Sale..." (BusinessInsider)
  2. "TechCrunch As We Know It May Be Over" (TechCrunch)
  3. "How Today’s Hottest Startups Got Their Names" (Mashable)
  4. "LinkedIn Now Lets You Include Volunteer Experience in Your Profile" (Mashable)
  5. "The Complete Guide To Freemium Business Models" (TechCrunch)

Not surprisingly, Silicon Valley headlines dominated sharing this week on LinkedIn. What was odd, however, was which stories were being shared. Neither of the big breaking news items — that Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz had been fired or that TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington had been possibly axed (the story keeps changing) from AOL — made it to the top. Instead, professionals wanted to talk about the next moves for each company.

The top Day 2 story came from Henry Blodget, editor of Business Insider, who said that the Yahoo board was now looking for strategic buyers. Blodget called it effectively, “sticking a FOR SALE sign on the lawn.” One Yahoo rival particularly enjoyed the article: Microsoft, which had bid $46 billion, or $33 per share, for the company in 2008. Yahoo rejected the offer as too low. Now, with Yahoo stock at $14.50, a few Softies gloated. As Bing test manager Ken Johnston put it, “Wow, Guess they would like that MS offer now.”

The No. 2 Day 2 article was TechCrunch writer MG Siegler’s piece “TechCrunch as We Know it May Be Over.” Siegler declared his allegiance to Arrington on Sept. 6 when it was still unclear whether Arrington had been fired from AOL or just moved to the venture investing arm of the company. At issue was a fund Arrington had set up — the CrunchFund — that would invest in startups, the same companies TechCrunch covered. AOL management wasn’t sure whether it was backing Arrington or enraged with him. By May 7, Fortune’s Dan Primack was declaring Arrington out.

So why all the follow-up stories being shared at the expense of the breaking news? Maybe because both items seemed inevitable for so long. Ever since AOL bought TechCrunch in 2010, news watchers have been waiting for an Arrington/AOL explosion; and since shortly after Bartz came on, questions about her management style and the company’s flagging stock have dogged her. The next steps for AOL and Yahoo was — and remains – the real mystery.

Other top-shared stories you may have missed.

Here’s a few headlines that were widely shared by professionals in these industries:

Finally, we’re ending this week's post with a poll linked to the No. 3 most-shared story. Mashable looked at 9 Internet brands and asked how each came up with its name. The answers ranged “after a dog” to “sounded good and URL was free.” Not one hired a big naming firm or went with something predictable. Here’s our question: which of these 5 companies most nailed it when it came to picking a moniker?