14 April 2011

Visualising my professional network

One of the web2.0 tools that I still use actively is LinkedIn and that is where my professional network now lives. I have used other similar tools in the past, like Plaxo, but just as Facebook has taken over on the social side so has LinkedIn for my professional stuff.

I use it mainly to keep track of people that I meet. A business card is useless once the person has changed jobs, and with it their email address and phone number, but LinkedIn maintains these connections for you. It's worth using just for that.

Now the LinkedIn InMaps tool lets you see all the connections that you have built up in a Social Network Map. This is mine which I find very interesting.

The first thing that strikes me is how little connected the various sub-networks are. As these are all essentially different groups of IT people I would have expected to see more cross-fertilisation.

The big blue group is people at Logica, dark green is London Borough of Lambeth, purple is Charteris, light blue is Royal Bank of Scotland and the large red group is the consultants who go to LIKE, TFPL and Gurteen meetings.

If you look at this network online then you can drill down to see the people in the network. For example, it is probably no surprise that the biggest and most central red dot is for David Gurteen.

LinkedIn is a great tool for professionals and InMaps gives useful insights in to your own network. Give it a go.

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