Editing and Adding Info on LinkedIn Contacts???

September 3rd, 2008 | by Jason Alba |

Well, they dipped their toes in the CRM waters.  Check this out (scroll below the second image to see my thoughts):

I only see this option on the Contact list page… I can’t find the option to edit the details on a profile page but I’m sure that’s coming (if they keep this feature).  When you click on it, you can ADD the following info (as of right now):

  • multiple email addresses (up to three, I think)
  • multiple phone numbers (I didn’t reach a limit there, I put in seven – couldn’t figure out how to delete bogus entries)
  • IM – for instant messaging, you put in the handle, then what it is (there are four default options, which you can overwrite), then if it’s personal, work, etc.
  •  multiple addresses
  • multiple websites
  • a birthday
  • other info (user defined, like what we have in JibberJobber)
  • … and Notes (limited to 4,000 characters).

So yeah, it’s about time.  Very cool, even if it’s somewhat hidden right now. Here are my two main thoughts:

  1. It’s. About. Time.  People have wanted this for a long time. 
  2. I’m not sure I’d trust this meta data in LinkedIn.  I’m not talking about security or privacy violations.  I’m concerned because:
    1. I’ve heard of people getting booted out of their account, and having to clear it up with customer service.  What I put in data on my hundreds of contacts and then couldn’t access it?
    2. This is not (currently) LinkedIn’s core offering, or value-add.  I’m not sure how much they are getting into the CRM space, but this could become a neglected part of their offering.  I’d rather go somewhere more robust.  Salesforce, Goldmine, ACT, and of course, JibberJobber would be great complements to your LinkedIn network tools.
    3. I’m not sure what their plans are with this, but I think this should be a premium feature.  It would (a) justify the cost of premium right now, and (b) be a great reason to get more upgrades.  What if you start editing your stuff right now and then find out you can’t access it anymore unless you upgrade?  Pure speculation, of course, but a concern I would have.
    4. I’d like to be able to import and export this metadata.  I’m sure that’s on a whiteboard somewhere at LinkedIn HQ… but this (especially exporting) is a HIGH priority for me.
    5. (added an hour after I posted this) What if someone disconnects from me?  I bet all the stuff I put in will GO AWAY.  Yuck.
    6. I can only put in info on people I’m connected with, right?  My network is much bigger than those who are first degree contacts in LI.

So there you go.  Thumbs up for finally getting this going.  I can’t recommend this, though, as a CRM solution.

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