Has LinkedIn Killed the Rolodex? LinkedIn vs. CRM vs. Networking & Relationships

January 25th, 2012 | by Jason Alba |

Excellent article on the WSJ FINS site titled Has LinkedIn Killed the Rolodex?

I thought it was going to be an article showing that yes, indeed, LinkedIn makes a rolodex obsolete.

It wasn’t.

It talked about LinkedIn as the tool that it is, but not as a real relationship tool.  Some points of differentiation:

LinkedIn is not a customer relationship manager (CRM) or personal relationship manager (PRM).

I’ve argued in the past that I hope then don’t become one.  Why?

First, because they should just buy JibberJobber and integrate it (while allowing people to use either OR both) :p  Yes, I’m biased :)

Second, because they have enough product issues that they need to resolve before they jump into trying to do CRM.  Based on what they’ve done with their system so far, I’m not convinced they, as a company “get” what relationship management is all about.

LinkedIn does not, cannot and should not replace real networking.

In the article it is referred to belly-to-belly relationships.  You get in front of your contact, and actually have a real face-t0-face conversation.  They say the new belly-to-belly might be email, phone, etc., but it’s more than just connecting on a social network and then not doing anything with the connection.

Read the article, it’s short, and excellent.  And then, if you are hiding behind ANY technology, get out and meet and talk to real people.

Viva real human interaction!

Wait… what then is LinkedIn?

It’s an amazing, powerful tool that helps you (DO A LOT OF STUFF — how would you fill in this blank?)

  1. 5 Responses to “Has LinkedIn Killed the Rolodex? LinkedIn vs. CRM vs. Networking & Relationships”

  2. By Tom Staskiewicz on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply


    This is an excellent article and if you consider LinkedIn in the way that most people use it; it is not a replacement for a Rolodex. If, however, you use the available tools that LinkedIn offers; it is far more valuable than a Rolodex.

    When was the last time that your Rolodex contacted you to tell you that one of your connections had moved, changed jobs, changed employers, or made other significant changes in their career? Most likely never; can LinkedIn do this for you? Most certainly.

    LinkedIn is a Rolodex where your contacts, that use LinkedIn effectively and properly, will keep your Rolodex current to a level never before reached. Your connections are providing the input and updates as they make changes.

    I added a comment to the original article talking about how you can use LinkedIn to replace your Rolodex and maintain the communications with your connections far more efficiently.

  3. By Adi Gaskell on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    I think LinkedIn is great for introducing relationships. It’s not generally so good for developing those relationships, or at least there are better ways of doing this.

  4. By Fred Dempster on Jan 27, 2012 | Reply

    ACT! is my Rolodex – far more contacts and information than LinkedIn is ever capable of handling. I treat LinkedIn as the tool it is to enhance professional relationships. That said – the two are integrated through updating roles and relationships. Other tools feed into ACT! that do not work with LinkedIn… but if I had to give one up I’d give up neither.

  5. By Jason Alba on Jan 27, 2012 | Reply

    @Fred – I’ve had a number of ACT users switch over to JibberJobber :)

  6. By Fred Dempster on Jan 27, 2012 | Reply

    With 25 years of activity in ACT! and over 10,000 contacts any change would be a task I would shy away from…:( have sent new folks over as they are just starting and JJ is a good tool.

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