LinkedIn Graphs Your Social Connections with InMaps

I have been putting off my LinkedIn research, knowing full well that the LinkedIn team has not been holding back at all in their full-tilt campaign to challenge Facebook.

In the past few months they have expanded LinkedIn’s Facebook emulation to include: status updates, activity streams, company pages, open social apps and Twitter integration. LinkedIn’s latest addition, InMaps demands a closer look.

NOTE: You must have 50 connections and 75 percent of your profile completed to access your InMap.

I like charts and graphs, anything that helps me to visualize lists of data. The threads and connections generated by InMaps create relational groups out of my LinkedIn network and color-codes them in some manner that I am still trying to figure out. People with bigger dots and with names in larger fonts, have more connections in specific clusters. I can label these groups and work within the application. The cool part I discovered, is that by zooming in… all of the dots become real names of people in my network.

A recent post in the LinkedIn Blog explains more:

Your map is actually a view into how your professional world has been created over time. To get a sense of how that’s true, label each cluster (color) and explore your connections to see who are the major bridges on your map. You can use those insights to measure your own impact or influence, or create opportunities for someone else. So, you might see two distinct groups that you could introduce to become one. Or, you might leverage one person to connect them to someone else. See an area that doesn’t look like it is representative of your professional world? Fix it by adding the necessary connections.

InMaps is similar to Mind Maps that I make to organize social media campaigns. I use https://bubbl.us to build them from scratch. It’s a free cloud service and there are others like it. Perhaps InMaps will eventually allow me to make the groups and associations but for now, it is a great start.

All Media Will Soon be Personalized, How to Create Your Own News Channel in Facebook

“All media will be personalized in three to five years,” says Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg. “People don’t want something targeted to the whole world – they want something that reflects what they want to see and know.”

Consolidation of Media put the making of news in the hands of a few Gullivers...

Sandberg’s comments, delivered at a conference in September, 2009, may have underestimated the speed at which it the personalization is taking place. Some fear that news aggregators will begin to take over the delivery of personalized content, based on user demographics extracted from your online grid profile. Media personalization is already well underway, but it’s not being crafted by an external source. Leave that effort to the adservers.

The personalization that Sheryl Sandberg describes is being shaped by the the users themselves.  As they decide to “Like” a Facebook page, that content stream becomes an element in their newsfeed. Savvy business Website publishers are  becoming content creators, learning to broadcast their news feed output to a Facebook page and to every other popular social media site, creating their own content-rich inbound “advertising” grid.

Now, It becomes much more important to “be about something” in order to be “marketing with meaningas Bob Gilbreath describes. The old days of tell-and-sell, top-down advertising is being replaced by a people-centric model and it’s happening much faster than predicted.


Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, “Knowing is Better” on UStream live 09/22/09.

Four months later, Facebook’s Malorie Lucich announced that users and publishers would be further empowered in Creating Your Personalized News Channel.

“As news quickly travels, your friends are often the best filters you have for surfacing meaningful news,” says Lucich. “They are how I heard about Michael Jackson’s death, President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize and even ‘Balloon Boy’.”

Creating dedicated “lists” will allow the user to segregate and then display select newsfeed updates from friends and/or from the Official Facebook pages they “Like.” Facebook also provides publishers with Facebook Connect allowing offsite users to login at another Website and interact. After seeing referrals from Facebook grow 680 per cent in 2010, The Independent began redesigning  different ways to personalize, aggregate and segment their news feeds into Facebook with a variety of new ‘like’ features on independent.co.uk.

So starting with a few key areas of the site, we’ve been developing the tools to let people get their news from The Independent through social networks in tighter categories, designed to better reflect the parts of our editorial output you particularly enjoy. To that end, you can now ‘like’ all of our commentators on Facebook, and if you do then when they publish a story it’ll appear in your news feed. So if you want to know what key writers such as Robert Fisk and Johann Hari are covering each week, just follow those links and click ‘like’. Commentator’s like buttons are, for now, confined to their author pages, which you can get to by clicking the names in the dropdown navigation visible when you hover over commentators on the Opinion section.

While none of my clients’ Websites nor any of my own publications can compare themselves to a major London news publisher, we can still take advantage of the opportunities presented by Facebook in terms of networking to create a grassroots distribution network. Facebook Apps like NetworkedBlogs permit content to be spread in a viral manner from one to many. With the consolidation of media that has taken place over the last decade, I often compare this community-based effort to Gulliver vs the Lilliputians.

Learn how… at our monthly Social Media Breakfast Door County meetings.

LINKS:

Facebook Could Become World’s Leading News Reader (Sorry Google)
How Media Will Relate to Facebook in the Future

Next Social Media Breakfast Door County Goes North to Ellison Bay, Jan. 19

The January monthly SMBDC meeting is sponsored by Brew Coffeehouse, providing participants with delicious coffee and snacks on Wednesday, January 19 from 9 – 10:30 am.

Mark Zuckerberg

At the close of 2010 when Time Magazine named Mark Zuckerberg their person of the year, they not only paid homage to the creator of Facebook. They also recognized the dynamic change that he has brought about in the way that more than 500 million people live and share their lives in the digital age. Soon after, the Washington Post announced that Facebook had ascended into the number one position as the world’s most visited Website. What was once a Google-centric Web has become a people-centric Web.

But, something even greater has taken place. We no longer think of Facebook as a Website. It has become a place… a virtual place that you go to when you want to hang out and check in with your friends. The next monthly meeting of the Social Media Breakfast Door County (SMBDC) group will explore what this shift means to the Peninsula’s business owners, independent artists and non-profit organizations who are seeking the greatest return on their marketing investment.

How Facebook Pages are the new Yellow Pages – and the listings are free,” will be January’s topic of discussion led by new media marketing consultant Stephen Kastner, founder of the SMBDC meetings. “The past decade was all about building a World Wide Web of information delivered in Websites,” says Kastner. “The next decade is already more about the World Wide Web of people.”

Stephen Kastner

Kastner publishes a free book, “6 Steps to Becoming a Social Business” in which he quotes Professor Sut Jhally, founder of the Media Education Foundation: “Advertisers have to go to where the audience is… if they want to sell products. They have no option but to go where the audience has gone. If the audience has gone online, gone to iPods, gone to Facebook – wherever the audience has gone – that is where advertisers must go.”

The book is a never-ending project, written about a subject that is continuously changing. Printing it would be a waste of time Kastner says. In three months it has already had more than 15 revisions, the most-recent of which moves Facebook into the “First Step” position in order of importance. You can download a free copy of the latest version at his DesignWise.net Website.

On the third Wednesday of each month, Kastner brings real people together at various Door County locations to have a breakfast dialogue about social media. The English Inn in Fish Creek, Glas Coffeehouse in Sturgeon Bay and the Harbor Fish Market in Baileys harbor have each hosted SMBDC meetings which began in October, 2010.

The January breakfast will be sponsored and hosted by Brew Coffee House in Ellison Bay. Rumor has it that Jennifer Lee, Door County artist, barista and Brew manager will be baking some specialty treats, providing complimentary coffee and snacks for participants. The SMBDC meetings are free and open to the public, but an RSVP is requested out of consideration for the host venue.

You can email stephen.kastner@smbdc.com or call 920.256.9449 with questions or to make a casual reservation for the Wednesday, January 19 SMBDC meeting at Brew Coffee House in Ellison Bay from 9 – 10:30 am. More information is available online at SMBDC.com.