LinkedIn Contacts & Networking Tool

LinkedIn is one of a new breed of contacts management tools, that take old-school-tie networking to another level. It works on the principle of connectedness, in that you enter yourself, and the people you know. They then enter the people they know, who enter the people they know, and so on. Once you’ve built a network, you can then search it for companies, or people you want to meet. If you get a match, you can request the contacts that know you to initiate get a referral, thus making a personal introduction.

There are a number of similar tools out there, however most either have questionable privacy rules, or are more suited for finding a blind date. LinkedIn is much more driven by business networking, and doesn’t appear to be designed to steal your contacts list for spamming purposes.

They are currently running as a free beta, and while they may start charging in the future, I suspect this will be for employment agencies running multiple searches in parallel. In order to retain the value of the network, individual use should remain free.