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gw200GeekWire is excited to reintroduce a Seattle tech tradition today: a ranked index of the region’s technology startups, using publicly available data to help identify the companies that are growing quickly, making an impact and grabbing the attention of key online communities.

The GeekWire 200 index pulls in data from LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and SEOmoz, using a weighted algorithm to rank the companies from GeekWire’s larger Seattle Startup List, a directory of more than 700 startups from the Seattle region.

We encourage you to check out the GeekWire 200, including the fine-tuned sorting and filtering functionalities. You can toggle between B2B and B2C startups, or drill down to see the rankings in more than 20 different startup categories. You can also see how the companies rank based on the individual metrics used to calculate the index.

Want to know which gaming companies in the Seattle area have the most Twitter followers? Yep, we’ve got it. Or, how about measuring enterprise software companies based on employee counts from LinkedIn? That’s there, too.

For example, while Big Fish Games leads the overall GeekWire 200 for December, the Twitter standout is Cheezburger Network, with more than 1.6 million followers; Bungie is the leader on Facebook, with 637,000 likes; and Tableau Software is tops on LinkedIn, with 7,000 followers.

We’re actually looking forward to using the GeekWire 200 Index ourselves as a handy reporting tool as we go about our jobs of digging into the stories that matter in the Pacific Northwest technology community, and beyond.

An important note: This is version 1.0. The data aren’t perfect, which means the ranking isn’t perfect. GeekWire 200 gives preference to companies that have a strong presence across Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, in addition to the quality and strength of inbound links to their sites. We recognize that many companies make strategic decisions to concentrate on one social platform over another.

In some cases, there are companies that we were personally surprised not to see on the GeekWire 200. We know we’ll hear from you, so please let us have your feedback — that’s part of the tradition, too.

In an ideal world, we’d love to include more revealing metrics, such as revenue per employee, as a better measure of a startup’s strength. If startups out there are ready to contribute that type of data to the cause, just let us know.

The list also depends on the APIs provided by each of those services, which aren’t perfect, either. We’ve been going over the index to find missing data, and we’ll continue to fill in the gaps as they arise, so the list will evolve and become more accurate over time. If you believe your company should be on the index, based on your metrics, first make sure it’s included on the Startup List, and email us at [email protected] to help us find bugs and fill in the gaps.

Bottom line, we’re treating this an interesting and fun exercise that aims to provide new insights into the startup community. We’ll be recalculating the index each month, with an accompanying post on GeekWire highlighting the latest trends as reflected by changes in the list.

Why is this a reintroduction? GeekWire 200 is a descendant of the Seattle 2.0 Startup Index, a longtime tradition in the startup community that was carried on for years by Seattle 2.0 founder Marcelo Calbucci.

Little-known fact: My GeekWire colleague John Cook, then a reporter for the Seattle P-I, provided the original inspiration for the index back in 2006 when he put together a list of 64 “Web 2.0” companies based in Seattle. Developer Greg Linden reordered the list by web traffic, and Marcelo took the reins from there, making it a regular feature of his site, Seattle 2.0.

When GeekWire acquired Seattle 2.0 last year, we promised to carry on its core features and events for the community, including the Startup List, the Service Provider DirectoryStartup Day, the Startup Awardscontributed community posts and startup advice.

The return of the Startup Index, in its new form as the GeekWire 200, completes the process of reintroducing those Seattle 2.0 features and events.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support of GeekWire. We hope you find value in the GeekWire 200, and we’re looking forward to your feedback.

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