Today I stumbled upon Linkedin’s InMap feature which allows you to “map” out your Linkedin Network. The clouds that you see above represent clusters of my network, where members are tightly connected with others. For example, the green bubble is my Yale SOM mini network. In business school, we are taught that networking is key and modern business school students are told before they enter school to connect with as many people as possible. The fuchsia cloud is the network of my former employer, KBC. As I was leaving the firm I tried connect with as many people as possible and over the years I’ve noticed that as the firm has evolved more people have left and yet remained in touch so the cloud has become more dense. A much looser agglomeration is the blue cloud which are my contacts in the Bangladeshi community which were largely built through my leadership of an organization called NYBAP. This a broader community which is less tied to each other.
Looking at these networks bring some interesting things to mind. First, I noticed that I have almost no connection with my college buddies even though on Facebook I’m regularly in touch. Granted I went to college long before Linkedin, so it wasn’t the way I connected with most of my friends. Secondly, other than my Opower network (orange) I have no notion of regional networks. This is partially because Linkedin doesn’t show them but also because I have not joined a meta network in DC where I would likely plug in. From a networking perspective this is a deficiency and means that I should try to connect with local networks more intensely.
All in all, this quick “map” provides some useful directions to take my professional connection building activities. Its also worth visiting on a regular (annual?) basis. I will try to visit again at the end of 2012 to see if the picture has changed!