LinkedIn Maps – a really cool tool!
I recently attended a social media masterclass session with Bangor University. It was run by two guys from Ireland who were unbelievably knowledgeable about social media. Amongst the many tips and insights they gave us, they introduced the LinkedIn Maps tool.
Basically the tool maps out your LinkedIn networks. It does it in a very colourful way (yes, it looks very cool in my eyes) as it groups your network contacts together into similar groups.
For one guy who was running the workshop, his network map (which had something like 1500 links) had three main colours, which associated with the different areas that he has worked in. He’d worked overseas and in a few different fields of business. As soon as I saw his network map, I knew I had to have a go!
Later that night at home I typed the weblink into the search bar and clicked ‘authorise app’. It then proceeded to start mapping my network. After some 20 minutes of waiting, I decided to click on the ‘Email me once completed’ link.
The next morning, I opened my Email to find the attached:
Apart from it looking quite messy, I noticed I had eight colours! What did that mean? I figured it was a bad thing, seeing as I have just over 150 links in my network.
That morning I was on the second day of my training, so at the first opportunity, I asked one of the guys running the workshop about my network. Essentially he told me that my network was good. He asked me if I’d worked in lots of different places (to account for some of the different colours), but I haven’t. Either way, he seemed impressed enough with my map.
I’ve since done a bit of research into ‘network theory’ which states that:
‘A network that bridges structural holes will provide network benefits that are in some degree additive, rather than overlapping.’
So, the upshot is that I’ve decided to take it that I’ve got a good LinkedIn network!! Not sure how true that is, but it’s not like I can suddenly change my network contacts…..
I’d highly recommend that you give it a go. For me it really is a very cool addition to LinkedIn. It certainly doesn’t fit with the ‘straight down the line’ kind of approach that LinkedIn seem to offer most of the time.
So, go on, give it a go. Let me know what your network map looks like and if you can beat 8 different colours??