Without data visualization, it’s hard for you to get a sense of what your network looks like, who your key connections are and what kind of crossover or links there might be between the different groups that make up your network. Using a LinkedIn Labs product, called InMaps, you can visualize what your LinkedIn network looks like. Do your connections form clusters or groups? Can you see the way all your connections are related to each other?
InMaps is an interactive visual representation of your professional universe. It’s a great way to understand the relationships between you and your entire set of LinkedIn connections. With it you can better leverage your professional network to help pass along job opportunities, seek professional advice, gather insights, and more.
Here’s how it works: your map is color-coded to represent different affiliations or groups from your professional career, such as your previous employer, college classmates, or industries you’ve worked in. In this InMap below you'll see a big green cluster on the right that represents colleagues from the same company.
Bigger names represent people who are the most connected within that specific cluster or group. When you click on a contact within a circle you’ll see their profile pop up on the right, as well as lines highlighting how they’re connected to your connections.
Here’s where it gets interesting. 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.
Just like snowflakes, no two networks are the same. Not convinced? Share your InMap with friends and colleagues via Linkedin, Twitter, or Facebook (your contacts’ names will not be included). Reviewing your own visualization is also a good introduction to understanding social network visualizations in general. Once you’ve examined your own network, it might help you better understand other social network visualizations such as those of your customers, suppliers and partners.
Here is a video explaining InMaps.
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