I have always felt, and often preached to clients, that the real value of social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, MySpace, etc.) isn't the ability to push messages to consumers but instead, to listen to them.
Anyone who is using these services realizes the real value is the ability to see everyone's updates in real time in one place without having to wade through a plethora of emails and voicemails or read lots of blogs. You just watch your "wall" and in the case of LinkedIn, a weekly or daily email does the trick.
So I read with great interest this article from Ad Age talking about LinkedIn's move into to research provider. This is great and I truly hope LinkedIn, Facebook and the rest figure out that this is truly the way to provide a great service to marketers. And as someone who rourtinely has to work in the B2B space, I look forward to testing a LinkedIn sample set.