If you’re a LinkedIn user, you already know the power of your professional network.
What if you could visualize what your network looks like? Would your connections form clusters or groups? Wouldn’t it be great if you could see the way all your connections are related to each other? Even be able to identify the elusive hubs between your professional worlds?
Now, you can! This week, we’re introducing a new LinkedIn Labs product, called InMaps. More after the jump.
InMaps is an interactive visual representation of your professional universe that answers all of the above questions. 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 my InMap, my LinkedIn colleagues are blue, while my former colleagues at Yahoo Analytics are pink and other at Yahoo are green and my Carnegie Mellon classmates are orange and tangerine.
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).
We hope you take some time visually exploring your network. I know that every time I look at mine I find something new!
To access your InMap, go to http://inmaps.linkedinlabs.com.
Ed. note: You must have 50 connections and 75 percent of your profile completed to access your InMap.