LexisNexis and LinkedIn have formed an alliance that will add online social networking capabilities to LexisNexis' Martindale-Hubbell unit, specifically on the Martindale.com website.

Martindale.com, which contains information about attorneys, will now feature LinkedIn connections. When users search martindale.com for appropriate attorneys, they will see LinkedIn icons in the profiles of those attorneys who are members of the network. The LinkedIn icons will also appear within law firm profiles when attorneys who represent a particular firm are LinkedIn members.

In addition, if a martindale.com user is also a LinkedIn member, he can access the LinkedIn connection with an attorney by clicking on the LinkedIn icon. This will present the user with more information about the attorney, including common LinkedIn connections between the user and that attorney. In the future, abstracts and links to Martindale-Hubbell articles and other content will be distributed through the LinkedIn network.

This alliance just illustrates how powerful online social networking has become in the business world. LexisNexis is always seeking new, viable ways in which to enhance its mainstay Martindale-Hubbell product, and certainly wouldn't introduce a new component that didn’t promise much potential.

Connecting Martindale.com and LinkedIn is key in making the Martindale site more of a networking platform. As business professionals increasingly utilize their social networks to make business connections, the time is definitely right for Martindale to move in this direction.