As anyone who reads this blog (or has heard of this blog and is mildly telepathic) knows I have a love affair with LinkedIn.com. Its really the social media I use the most right now, probably as, being a working geek, a lot of the people I meet there are too.
One thing I've started doing regularly is exporting my contacts every 2-3 months or so, and saving them in spreadsheet format. It's a good strategy on a number of levels:
1) It gives me a backup if I can't get to LinkedIn.com for whatever reason. I can quickly dig up emails and contact information.
2) It gives me a source of data if I need to look for specific people. Recently I was helping some acquaintances find recruiters, and it was a lot easier to just sort through the list, knock out the inappropriate ones (wrong location, etc.) and send them the remaining contact information.
3) It gives me contact information to put elsewhere – say I want to put it in a card file or a contact list.
4) I can crunch numbers – how many people have I added since last time, etc.
I heartily recommend regular exports of your LinkedIn.com connections. It gives you a lot of useful data at your fingertips – and if you do it regularly, you won't have to juggle various data types when you're busy.
– Steven Savage