LinkedIn Profile Organizer – My Thoughts

October 6th, 2009 | by Jason Alba |

LinkedIn just announced their Profile Organizer, which is a premium (upgrade) feature. I’ll blog more about my opinion on upgrading in a future post, but today let’s talk just about the LinkedIn Profile Organizer.

From the video below it looks like the purpose of a Profile Organizer is to:

  1. Save (bookmark) LinkedIn Profiles of people you want to come back to later,
  2. Add contact info on those contacts,
  3. Add a “note” to the Profile,
  4. Categorize your contacts.

Of significant interest, you can apparently save Profiles of people who ARE NOT in your first degree network.  That is HUGE.

I wrote a while back about the ability to add and save information on a contact – you can read my post titled Editing and Adding Info on LinkedIn Contacts??? My contention was, what would happen if the person disconnected from you?

If you can indeed have this meta data on contacts outside of your first degree, I’d say this was a very elegant solution, and good job to LinkedIn!

I’d still not recommend this as a relationship management tool for three reason (as I spill my guts LinkedIn gets to either have a solution for each of these, or they get to react with their position):

  1. What happens if you decide to go from Premium to free?  Do you lose all of the info you ever put in?  This essentially locks you into premium forever.
  2. Eventually you’d need to track information (notes, phone number, etc. … whatever) for a contact … what if they aren’t in LinkedIn, or don’t connect with you?  Are you going to keep a separate file or system for those people?  Transferring data between the two systems can get, well, unrealistic.
  3. There’s still that little weird issue about people getting kicked out of the system.  A social network system has to have different rules than a private CRM system… and if you violate a social network system rule, and you get kicked out or locked out, what happens to your CRM data?
  4. There are still other things you can’t do that a CRM allows you to do.  For example, in JibberJobber you can associate multiple contacts to one company… in LI I don’t think you can do that at all (well, unless you create that as a category in the Profile Organizer)… also, log entries (right now they only have “notes,” action items, etc.
  5. The only comment (currently) on the YouTube video says: “Without real ldap, sync contacts service, where is the add-value ?”  This is a good question – this would be significantly valuable if you could sync this data with a real CRM.I’m hoping they will make that available with a future version of the API.

Like I said 13 months ago:

Thumbs up for …  getting this going.  I can’t recommend this, though, as a CRM solution.

  1. 3 Responses to “LinkedIn Profile Organizer – My Thoughts”

  2. By Tyler West on Oct 6, 2009 | Reply

    Great thoughts Jason. I have always been hesitant to use LinkedIn as a bonafide crm for the same reasons. It’s a big pond to go fishing in but at the end of the day how much of the data do you get to take home?

  3. By Lisa Hendrickson on Oct 7, 2009 | Reply

    Another great blog! I’m going to post in my group and send out on Friday with our announcement.

    I will never use a social media tool to manage my contacts. I will use them to get contacts LOL.

    Lisa

  4. By John on Nov 11, 2009 | Reply

    Good inputs Jason.

    Locking into subscription – I can say from my own experience.

    I did try a premium subscription and later tried unsubscribing as I couldn’t realise any better value . It is not easy at all.

    No response to emails to unsubscribe.(it is a form) Try phoning up – no numbers!! With a lot of search -found the numbers and called – only Voice Mail. Finally I cancelled the credit card itself !!! So beware if you are thinking of subscribing anything premium in Linkedin.

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