I have always said that LinkedIn is not a blast email system like Constant Contacts.
There was only one way to send messages to large groups of your own 1st degree connections by “forwarding your profile” (see the hotlink “forward this profile to a connection”) on your own profile page).
Six months ago LinkedIn added some very interesting new features for you to work with your 1st degree connections which includes several things people have been asking about for years.
For a detailed description, see the LinkedIn blog post, entitled A Better Way to Browse Your LinkedIn Connections.
To check them out for yourself, click Contacts and then My Connections on your LinkedIn home page and you will get to an page like the one I show in this post.
You can use the facets on the left side of the screen to limit your contacts to certain cities/locations which can be very handy. You can do the same with industries and companies. All very useful, particularly as the number of your connections grow.
Most useful is that you can categorize your contacts in any number of ways that you see fit into different groups. Mine include Business Acquaintances, Clients and Friends in addition to some of the categories that LinkedIn provides based upon how you relate to someone you connect networks with – like group member, colleague and classmate.
And then, if you like, you can message entire categories of people, up to 50 contacts at a time.
Have you tried these features? How do you like them? What innovative uses have you found for them?