– Tanking job market a boon for LinkedIn: While LinkedIn laid off some 10 percent of its staff in November, the financial crisis hasn’t been all bad for the business-focused social network, USA Today reports. It has seen increases in performance stats like page views (up 9 percent), invitations sent (up 10 percent), connections (up 11 percent) and member recommendations (up 14 percent) since September 2008, as more people use the site to post resumes and find out about job opportunities. CEO Reid Hoffman (who took the post back from Dan Nye last month) told the paper that the increased usage will help LinkedIn lure ad dollars away from competitors like MySpace and Facebook, and that he expects the trend to continue given the state of the job market.
— Nickelodeon rolls out “kid’s choice” site UPickDaily: Viacom’s Nickelodeon launched UPickDaily, a pop-culture site where kids can post and vote on their favorite TV shows, movies, music, games and other content. The beta site features polls and quizzes on topics from “what wild animal would you want to be” to “what’s your favorite Wii game so far,” and Reuters says the content is moderated. There are display ads alongside the top and right side of the page (though that could change as the site evolves). If handled appropriately in terms of kids’ privacy guidelines, there could be a data-mining component reminiscent of Nielsen’s now defunct “Hey! Nielsen” social net/market research project.
— Broadway finds friends through social media: Broadway show producers are increasingly using social media to attract new fans, per the NYT. New musical “In the Heights,” for example, has a MySpace page with a blog, widgets and a jukebox that plays songs and videos from the show. The show even launched a related YouTube series called “Legally Brown,” where Broadway stars competed for a role in an upcoming performance. (It was a twist on MTV’s “Legally Blonde,” a reality show in which actresses competed for the lead role in the musical of the same name. Meanwhile, “Shrek the Musical” has Shrekster — its own social network — with profiles of the show’s characters and breaking “news” from the fictional kingdom of Duloc.