LinkedIn's new InMaps feature displays your professional network as ... a big freaking mess
I'm a fully paid up fan of data visualisation.
And I love LinkedIn, which I wouldn't trade for 1000 Facebooks.
So I was intrigued when news of a new LinkedIn feature called InMaps happily bubbled onto Mashable, RWW and all the usual suspects this morning.
I clicked on the InMaps link, and the new service cleverly turned my list of 500 or so LinkedIn contacts into a zoomable, clickable chart that .... well, it looks like a big freaking mess, actually; a dense, stringy brain, with four different colours.
What do the different colours mean?
Whatever I decide to label them.
This beats me, as people listed in each of the four globs of my InMap seems to contain an even mix of professional contacts, with people in the IT, telco, comms and media industries seemingly evenly distributed. Maybe some appear in more than one place. Who the hell knows.
When I zoomed in close enough to read people's individual names, I lost sight of the whole (whatever the heck the whole is actually depicting). Everybody seems to be represented by roughly the same size dot, which is egalitarian, but not particularly revealing (at least two readers disagree; see Comments below).
Incidentally, I had to extend my LinkedIn profile to at least 75% before I was allowed to access InMap. Clever of them. I guess.
LinkedIn says an InMap can reveal "those elusive hubs between your professional worlds". But for me they remain, well, elusive.
If you've had a better experience with InMaps, feel free to share.
Read LinkedIn's inhouse blog on InMaps here, or check out the official video demo below: