Data Portability: LinkedIn Now Allows You To Export Your Data

Big storm this week in the blogosphere as Robert Scoble’s Facebook account was temporarily suspended for breaking the site’s terms of service. He was using a new tool from Plaxo Pulse that was extracting and matching Plaxo and Facebook users. As Robert said: “I wanted to get all my contacts into my Microsoft Outlook address book and hook them up with the Plaxo system, which 1,800 of my friends are already on.” Scoble was eventually reinstated but the debate about data portability now rages on (see also DataPortability.org).

Linkedin export function

A few minutes ago, I discovered that LinkedIn now allows you to export your data in various formats (.CSV and .VCF). I don’t know how long they’ve been offering this feature (not long I suspect) but it’s an extremely smart move to position themselves as the definite business-oriented social network. Bravo!

9 thoughts on “Data Portability: LinkedIn Now Allows You To Export Your Data

  1. I think that’s been available for a while… I know I’ve had the LinkedIn toolbar for Outlook, which allows you to match Outlook and LinkedIn contacts – not unlike what Scoble was attempting with FB and Plaxo.

  2. I think that’s been available for a while… I know I’ve had the LinkedIn toolbar for Outlook, which allows you to match Outlook and LinkedIn contacts – not unlike what Scoble was attempting with FB and Plaxo.

  3. Yeah, it notifies me when an Outlook contact’s info has changed on LinkedIn, and then asks me if I want to update the Outlook data to match… very handy for maintaining an up-to-date address book.

    It’s funny – when I read Scoble’s account of what happened with Facebook, I got all hot and bothered about Scoble taking MY contact info (I’m one of the 5000, lucky me) without MY permission and potentially having his (and Plaxo’s) way with it. It wasn’t until I read this post that I realized I do that practically EVERYDAY with LinkedIn and Outlook. I wonder if there’s an intrinsic difference in a business network compared to a social network.

    To take the example offline, if a friend gives me their home phone number/address, I would not assume that I’m free to pass that along to anyone. With a business card, on the other hand, I assume that they are EXPECTING me to pass it off to someone at some point (except in a few cases)…

    Guys like Scoble (and you, and a thousand others) are using Facebook in a way that blurs the line between business and personal social nets… what does that mean for the millions of others and their expectations of privacy?

  4. Yeah, it notifies me when an Outlook contact’s info has changed on LinkedIn, and then asks me if I want to update the Outlook data to match… very handy for maintaining an up-to-date address book.

    It’s funny – when I read Scoble’s account of what happened with Facebook, I got all hot and bothered about Scoble taking MY contact info (I’m one of the 5000, lucky me) without MY permission and potentially having his (and Plaxo’s) way with it. It wasn’t until I read this post that I realized I do that practically EVERYDAY with LinkedIn and Outlook. I wonder if there’s an intrinsic difference in a business network compared to a social network.

    To take the example offline, if a friend gives me their home phone number/address, I would not assume that I’m free to pass that along to anyone. With a business card, on the other hand, I assume that they are EXPECTING me to pass it off to someone at some point (except in a few cases)…

    Guys like Scoble (and you, and a thousand others) are using Facebook in a way that blurs the line between business and personal social nets… what does that mean for the millions of others and their expectations of privacy?

  5. Finally, a good site that isn’t in my face trying to constantly sell me something. Thanks, please keep up the good work.

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