LinkedIn Tip: Visually Map Your Network

Pop quiz — what does the weird splotch of color below represent?

Answer: Why my network, of course!  C’mon, isn’t ‘t it obvious?

For those who haven’t discovered it yet, LinkedIn recently introduced a new application called “InMaps” that does something quite remarkable.  It connects (once you give it permission) to your LinkedIn account, reviews the demographics of everybody you’re connected with on the system, and then maps your entire network out in a color-coded diagram like the one above — showing how clustered and interconnected your web of relationships tends to be!

You’ll find this new application here and while I can’t for the life of me think of a practical purpose for it, there”s definitely something alluring about being to see all of your “social capital” displayed in this fashion.  And should you try this application out, yourself, you’ll see that you can hover your mouse over each dot of the diagram to see who it represents — as well as label the different colors using a Legend Box that shows up, should you care to do so.

So far, I’ve only seen one other person’s map besides my own, so I don’t have much basis for comparison, but it was interesting to see that my network is almost a perfect circle, while the other individual’s diagram was more of an “amoeba” pattern represented by several distinct, segmented groups of people — e.g. people in his neighborhood, people from church, people from one past company he worked at, people from another past company, etc.

Check it out and see what kind of pattern you get.  You’ll find the results oddly hypnotic — and kind of pretty, to boot!

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