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Social networks (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc) make it very easy to rapidly add connections to your network. But after years of growing that network, one begins to want to trim that network of stale / irrelevant connections. Let's focus this question on LinkedIn. A few examples:

  • college associates you haven't communicated with in the years since graduation
  • recruiters not suited for your career
  • former co-workers

For people who haven't meticulously maintained their network over time, it's tedious to browse a large network of connections, one at a time, in order to remove irrelevant connections. There must be a better way!

In short, has LinkedIn provided enough information via their API (or their web interface) to build a "People You May Know Want To Disconnect" feature?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

To my knowledge, there is no all-in-one removal tool that is able to suggest who may be a good candidate to boot from your network (something similar to ManageFlitter for Twitter).

However, I can suggest two tools to assist you with trimming & organizing your network (which I personally use):

  • InMaps: Visualizes your network and identifies clusters/sub-networks, and relative "distance" (relevance) of connections to each network. It allows you to easily spot "fringe" connections that may be not that relevant (or possible in reverse to be "bridge" connection to new clusters). And it is a part of LinkedIn Labs.

  • MyWebCareer: More of an analytical dashboard-type tool (something of a Klout type). Also gives you a visual representation of your network which allows you to view sub-networks individually and indicating how a certain person is part of that network (current position vs. past position in a company). This can also suggest candidates for removal. However, in relation to your task it only be a complimentary tool to InMaps, I think. But it gives you some other functionality like giving scores about stuff, integrating Facebook and StackExchange-type sites into analysis.

Overall, I do agree that a smart network management tool is in order for LinkedIn. Let's hope it comes along soon!

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Excellent, I hadn't heard of either of those resources. I think you're right about there not being an all-in-one removal tool. A network exploration tool may be more useful in the long run anyhow. –  Chris Betti Jun 23 '11 at 5:21
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Removing Connections from LinkedIn is very easy. Just go to Contacts > My Connections. On the top right side there is one Remove Connections. Click upon that. Connections are listed alphabet wise. If the list is long you can even select starting letter listed in side bar to quickly list the names starting with particular letter. Put check marks and select Remove Connections. That's all.

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This doesn't answer the question. –  neilfein May 5 '11 at 4:56
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For networks of hundreds of users, this strategy would take all day if you were serious about considering the value of each connection. An auto-suggestion / connection manager tool built with an eye towards identifying irrelevant connections is what I'm after. –  Chris Betti May 6 '11 at 15:47
    
It's not easy. You need to go through the names individually, then think about who they are. You don't get any clues - where they work, what they look like. Then you click the next letter, and look again. Then you go to "remove connections" and you find that you've accidentally selected a bunch of people you didn't want to remove, and the buttons were too small, so you have to start again. –  Jeremy Miles Apr 13 '13 at 0:53
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