Editor’s Note: It seems simple, even silly perhaps. However, regardless of how always-on we get, there will instances of outages for Internet connectivity, or as Ms. Marsala outlines below, an account being offline, that will send us into a panic. We get very comfortable with having data in the cloud…There is no harm in having a local backup or sync process that gives you access regardless. On Mac OS X, Address Book will sync LinkedIn contacts, on Windows Outlook can offer connectivity to your connections. Of course, sync to our portable devices allows us to get to those Connections offline as well. Just insure you determine one of those points of sync or backup as your business critical choice and make sure it is always working…
You’ve worked hard (or not) to gather your current list of LinkedIn connections. How would you feel if you attempted to log in to your account and found that it had been closed?
Don’t let your valuable business connections disappear from your sight!
One day, back in 2007, I (tried to) log in to my LinkedIn account and received a message that my account had been shut down. I had no idea just how long it had been closed — or why.
It took me another four days to find a way to contact LI and learn what happened.
Ended up that I had unknowingly violated the LI User Agreement, someone had complained, and my account was closed. What had I done? I’d put the word “Coach” in my name. Yes, in the first name area of my LinkedIn profile, I had written “Coach Maria”.
I had to fix my error and send an email to LI saying that I’d never do it again.
My profile was offline at least 14 days.
Many business owners have had their social networking profiles shut down or banned. Often they aren’t able to get their profiles reinstated (I’ve heard that Facebook is the hardest site to get reinstated).
The worst part of having my profile shut down was the worry of losing my connections (luckily, they were reinstated when I got my profile back). But having this happen once showed me how important it is for ME to control MY connections.
Any social networking site can get hacked or shut down. I do have more stories! So, I no longer take chances with my connections.
A Few Solutions
Using Outlook’s calendar to remind me, I schedule an export of my contacts (including email addresses and other information) into MS Excel (the option is to download it into a cvs file, but I change the extension upon saving it because it may contain characters that cvs doesn’t recognize). There is also an option to download your connections into Outlook. Here’s the link to get you started: https://www.linkedin.com/people/export-settings
Since recently subscribing to Outlook 365, part of this subscription includes “Downloads”. And the only download in the system right now is Outlook. I recently downloaded my LI files into Outlook and am currently unsure if it updates itself or if I need to update it monthly (stay tuned).
My Facebook account contacts are easily uploaded into a yahoo.com email account. You’ll find the feature to do this on the right side of your email account. Additionally, once your contacts are imported, you’ll be able to email your FaceBook contacts, too. If you know other types of email accounts that have this feature, please share!
I haven’t figured a way to export my Twitter connections. If you know a way, won’t you share it with me and our readers?