LinkedIn & Microsoft: A Socially Connected Professional Network

LinkedIn & Microsoft have partnered to bring a “socially connected professional network” directly to your inbox.  Microsoft has announced a new tool within Outlook 2010 the Outlook Social Connector (OSC). OSC is an add-on that searches social media profiles and brings the information to your inbox.  The information that will be shared in the inbox includes:

  • Communication history. Your mailbox is searched and the recent messages you’ve exchanged with that person appear. Can’t remember the last time you e-mailed this person? A quick look at the OSC reveals the last time you received an email from them, and one click opens up the message.
  • Meetings. When is the next scheduled meeting with this person? The OSC shows upcoming appointments that include you and the message sender.
  • Attachments. Can’t find the attachment that the person is referring to in a message? With the OSC you can quickly review attachments that you and the sender have exchanged. One-click access quickly opens the attachment or you can see the message that it is attached to.
  • Activity feeds. Stay on top of activities involving your colleagues and friends in real time. The OSC connects to business and consumer social networks.

LinkedIn will be the first networking site to support OSC in early 2010. The idea behind this partnership is to enhance your personal network though LinkedIn right in your inbox with the ability to see pubic profiles of those that email you instead of having to hjump over to LinkedIn. LinkedIn has been making every attempt to increase user experience and involvement. Eliott Smukler discussed the benefits of this integration (see complete benefits) on the LinkedIn blog.

1.Keep up with LinkedIn connections right from your e-mail inbox.  The OSC will automatically show the latest activity (i.e. Network Updates) from any LinkedIn connection that sends you an e-mail.

2. E-mail your LinkedIn connections directly from Outlook. Forgot an email address of a LinkedIn connection? OSC will store the email addresses for each of your connections and by simply typing in their name, their email will become available. This really is expanding upon your contact list within Outlook while keeping your LinkedIn connections contained within one area.

3. Keep building your professional network from Outlook. Send invitations from Outlook to those that have emailed.

Here is a sneak peak of what the socially connected professional networking will look like in your email.linkedin

Is this good or bad?  Too much information too easily shared? Thoughts?

photo credit: Linkedin Blog