Boring Old LinkedIn Wows Tech Conference

Linkedin founder Reid Garrett Hoffman (L) and CEO Jeff Weiner (R) just before ringing the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange May 19, 2011 during the initial public offering of the company.
U mad, Zuckerberg? Photo: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty

The surprising star of this year’s D10 conference, a three-day gathering of tech fetishists organized by AllThingsD, looks to be LinkedIn, the social network only a middle manager could love.

See, LinkedIn is actually very profitable. Its stock is up 47 percent on the year — compare to Facebook’s 30 percent, two-week loss, or Groupon’s 50 percent slide on the year — with a solid, growing user base and an advertising model that is less of a question mark than its rivals’.

Showing the crowd a funny video probably didn’t hurt.

In an interview with Kara Swisher, CEO Jeff Weiner and chairman Reid Hoffman portrayed LinkedIn as less of a gamble than other social media companies, like Facebook and Zynga, whose user base is more prone to jumping to the next hot product.

LinkedIn is not about passing time; it’s about saving time,” Weiner said.

LinkedIn’s top brass didn’t really need to defend the company’s performance — every plaid-clad techie at the Silicon Valley conference had just watched Facebook’s botched IPO — but they did anyway, talking up the site’s mobile push and its recent acquisition of SlideShare.

But D10 attendees were more impressed by the company’s parody video, which featured a duck-billed platypus, an erectile-dysfunction ad, and exactly the kind of humor you’d expect from LinkedIn.

Boring Old LinkedIn Wows Tech Conference