Professional social networking king LinkedIn announced a new feature on its blog yesterday. Data analytics guru and LinkedIn employee Ali Imam introduced the product from LinkedIn Labs called InMaps, which is a tool that plots all of your connections onto visual graph that represents how you are connected to those people within your network.
The idea behind inMaps, according to LinkedIn, is to provide a way to understand the relationships between you and your LinkedIn connections. The goal being to able to better leverage the social network for its intended purpose, like job hunting and keeping in touch. The InMaps product answers the question – “what does my network look like?” The first time you look at your inMap you’ll see your various connections plotted on a graph in different color groups. LinkedIn invites users to label these groups, such as an orange for your college classmates, and purple and blue for former colleagues. Larger circle represent connections that have large social connections within that specific cluster or group. Clicking on a particular connection has a window pop-up providing you with quick profile information about that person.
After floating around the giant space-like graph, I found it to be a fun and unique way to recall and review who I have in my network. It definitely helps to solve the problem of people getting buried into long lists of connections and friends. Using inMaps, I quickly discovered a number of contacts that I’d forgotten to keep in touch with. To get your own InMap started, head over to LinkedIn’s portal for the tool: http://inmaps.linkedinlabs.com