This week LinkedIn released a new lab called InMaps. It allows you to visualise your connections, with different groups colour coded. The tagline – “Your professional universe visualised”.
Yesterday I connected my profile with InMaps and received my very own connections visualisation, which you’ll see in the picture. Now I don’t have a huge number of connections (73 – if you want to connect I’m at http://www.linkedin.com/in/sarahcryan – let me know you’re reading the blog), but it was certainly interesting to see the different groups and how they are connected to each other. You can also get a snapshot of a connection by clicking on them and seeing a brief overview of their experience, education, as well as shared connections, at the side of your screen
LinkedIn appear to be pushing InMaps as having 3 main uses:
- To better understand your connections and the distinct groups;
- To create opportunities for your connections by being more aware of your connections and how they might benefit each other; and
- To show you if you are under-represented in a certain area, as a means of encouraging you to make more connections in that field.
That’s all reasonable and I can certainly see how it has those uses, it’s also pretty interesting to see your connections represented in an infographic like this.
However there are a few problems that I’ve come across that might prevent you from using InMaps:
- You have to have at least 50 connections;
- You have to have at least 75% of your profile completed; and
- It doesn’t appear to update.
The first two points might not be a huge issue, as people with less than 50 connections probably don’t use LinkedIn that much and therefore would not necessarily be interested in InMaps.
The last point however, is something of a flaw. I discovered it today as I attempted to redo my own InMaps , and although I know that my husband connected yesterday with a connection of mine, this wasn’t represented. I was given the same visualisation as yesterday, and in fact it was also displaying yesterday’s date.
So I’m wondering, is InMaps only a once off tool? Or else is it just slow to update?
Either way that is definitely a flaw in my book.
I also wish there was a way to edit the groups, or add new colours, as currently any solo connections seem to get lumped together with one colour which is not necessarily accurate.
Maybe they’ll improve the functionality, maybe not. For me it was interesting to see once, but given the lack of updating, it’s not an overly usable feature.
What do you think? Have you tried InMaps yet? Did you like it?
[UPDATE: I have just been made aware that there is a maximum connection number as well, anything over that number and you can't use InMaps. I'm not sure what the maximum number is but I believe it is over the 500 mark. Check out the discussion on LinkedIn http://lnkd.in/yaydnn%5D
[UPDATE 2: I have been sporadically checking my InMaps to see if it has updated yet. Today, 3rd March, was the first day it had. Over a month after creating it.]