Mapping your LinkedIn contacts

people silhouettes

“Do you know him?” “No, I don’t know him.” “And WHY are you connected to him on LinkedIn, again?” Image courtesy of Geralt, Pixabay.

Some people have called LinkedIn the place where you connect to people for absolutely no reason whatsoever, but I use it differently. For me, LinkedIn’s been a handy site.

I’ve used it to chat with other like-minded professionals in the discussion groups and find people who have knowledge that I want to gain (I’m interested in learning more about mobile advertising, since it’s not a bad idea for copywriters like me to keep up with emerging trends in marketing and advertising). Plus, I follow others to keep up with new trends going on in social media, SEO, and so on.

It’s fun to see who knows who. Sometimes I’m astonished by who knows my first-level connections — normally it would take you a long time and maybe a chance remark to discover who they know. But with LinkedIn, you can see it in seconds.

Every once in a while, I look up famous people on LinkedIn, just experimenting. I looked up Kevin Bacon a couple of years ago, playing a sort of “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game on LinkedIn. He came up as a third-level connection, to my amusement. Alas, Kevin never sent a connection request if he saw me peeking at his profile. He’s a busy guy with movies to make and music to play, so it’s fine. (Did you know he and his brother Michael have a band?)

I teach LinkedIn as a volunteer in workshops and one-on-one instruction, so I thought I knew LinkedIn well. Surprise! I discovered a new feature of LinkedIn this past Tuesday — it’s called InMaps — and I’m loving it. I discovered it when I wandered behind a table where two friends of mine sat with a laptop. (“Hey, what in the world is THAT on your screen?”)

With InMaps, LinkedIn gives you a visual representation of all your contacts, worldwide. They can be sorted by groups such as professional contacts, friends, family members, or whatever you decide to label them. LinkedIn will then take that information and present it on a color-coded global map.

One of my first-level connections has over 12,000 contacts. It blows my mind to imagine what that must look like.

If anyone’s interested in checking out this feature of LinkedIn, visit the InMaps link or watch the video below.

Update 10/30/14: LinkedIn has discontinued the InMaps feature. According to LinkedIn support, they are currently exploring new ways to provide readers with better insights. Stay tuned.

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19 Comments

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19 responses to “Mapping your LinkedIn contacts

  1. Thank you for providing a reason for LinkedIn. I have no need for it or desire to join one more social network, but felt it must serve some purpose for someone. Dianne

  2. I have a lot of linked in relationships because people ask if they can connect, usually writers and photographer, but also head hunters and techies. I see no reason not to unless I suspect a scam. It has enabled me to keep in touch with former colleagues. Garry also has a merry band of linked in buddies. It can be useful as long as one is selective in who one links to 🙂

  3. I’ve heard the Bacon brothers’ band. I can’t remember what it’s called. But they’re actually pretty good.

  4. I cancelled my LinkedIn profile because it delivered zero value to me. That may be a statement more about me than the site. You might like to know that even after you cancel your profile people can send you invitations to link up. I think that’s a cheap shot on the part of LinkedIn. I send emails to people who reach out to me thanking them for their interest.

  5. I’m on LinkedIn but don’t know what to do with it. I need to take your class!

  6. I tried LinkedIn for a while, but I can hardly keep up with my blog, let alone other forms of social media. I know it’s me. Other people manage them all and are better off for it. I just can’t seem to do it. Oh well…

    Sorry I can’t catch up on all of your posts–I’m just trying to make an effort to let you know I’m still alive, kicking, and thinking of you!

  7. Thank you for sharing some positive sides to LinkedIn. I never knew what the value of it might be. I am actually weaning off Facebook right now–using it more like an address book for private messages–and feel a positive relationship for it for the first time in five years. Like Lorna said, keeping up with blogging is almost too much for me.

  8. I never use my LinkedIN but former students keep wanting to connect. I do like getting job possibilities. It’s fun to dream while stuck at my desk grading essays.

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