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.