Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Please Strengthen My Weak LinkedIn Links...

State Of LinkedIn

I've had a LinkedIn account for many years. I find it an excellent tool for keeping tabs on ex-coworkers, recruiting new ones, and watching job trends. The problem I have is that those links/connections in LinkedIn can be weak. It doesn't take those connections to the next level by helping me manage the relationships. It doesn't help me manage and monitor the strengthen of my connections.

What Does Manage and Monitor Relationships Mean?

At a macro level I can keep track of my first level connections and second level connections. I can traverse these to help me find people to hire, ask for advice and even look for jobs myself. It even does a ton of stuff to help me find new connections by making suggestions, forming groups etc. But at a micro level it does nothing to help me improve and make value judgements about those relationships. I.e. I have a relationship with Joe the CEO of By looking at that link I can't tell if that's a strong relationship or a weak one (Monitoring). I also can't set goals of improving my relationships and keep track of those goals (Managing). It just gives me a tree/graph of the relationships as if they were all the same. Further, when I'm traversing through my relationships and into my connections relationships I can't tell how strong they are connected to their connections.

What I Want...

What I really want is for LinkedIn to help me manage and improve my relationships as well. It would all be much more powerful if I could apply a rating to each relationship, monitor the relationship's progress and assign goals for each relationship. I could do so on a 1-10 scale.

So instead of a graph like this:

I could have a graph like this where the thickness of the lines indicated the quality of the relationship where it is right now:

That would be a great start. Then I would like it to keep a history of the relationship as well. It could show me how the relationship is progressing over time. Say it started at a 10 but I haven't talked to Joe in 3 years and now I rate it a 4. It could represent it with little arrows or color showing deterioration.

What about goals for a relationship? I could set a goal of 8 and do a query on all relationships that are not at the level I wish they were. It could remind me to make a quick contact with the person in question. It could auto deteriorate a relationship over time if I don't contact people.

Summing Up...

LinkedIn is great. I'm more connected than ever. But... I want to monitor and manage my links to improve my connectedness to certain people and I'm hoping linked in can help me.

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