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You use Outlook to organize all your e-mail; optionally, you store Contact information in Outlook, as well. Now wouldn't it be great if Outlook could automatically set up new contact records for you based on the contacts that you already have in your social networks like LinkedIn, and wouldn't it be nice to see all of the updates that your contacts have posted to the social networks? Well now you can, using the Outlook's Social Connector and the various plug-ins. We're going to start by taking a look at how this new feature works.
I might receive a message from Greg, and I can tell, by looking down at the lower half of my Preview Pane, that he is now a member of one of my networks. If I want to invite him to my network, I can simply click on the Add button and send an invitation to my LinkedIn account. Now once he joins, he's going to be like my friend Herman, and anytime I receive a message from Herman, I'll be able to see all of the messages that Herman has sent me.
I can also look at just his latest updates, or I can just look at the e-mail messages that he's recently sent me. And of course, I can zoom in to any of those messages with a click. I'm also seeing not only Herman's picture, and I know this picture came from his LinkedIn profile because of the letters IN, but I'm also seeing any other contacts in my database that Herman has also connected with. One of the other nice options that I have is receiving attachments.
Gary might have sent many e-mails to me in the past, but I'd to just focus in on those e-mails that contain attachments. I can click on the Attachments button, and now I'm just seeing the two e-mail messages that he sent that me that contain attachments. Finally, one of my favorite features is that I can go down to the Meetings tab and look at any meetings that I might have scheduled with one of these contacts. Outlook magically creates an entire new address book with your LinkedIn contact information.
So I'm going to go to my Contacts area by clicking Contacts in the Navigation Pane, and you notice that I now have a brand-new contact folder called LinkedIn. And when I click it, I notice that all my LinkedIn contacts have appeared there with all their contact information. Now if I decide that I would like one of these contacts to be in my main contact folder, I can simply drag their information over to the Contacts folder.
And you see in this case that Sharon has disappeared from my LinkedIn folder, but she's now part of my Contact folder. And if I open this up, I can see that all her information is already there, and I didn't have to bother inputting it. At the time of this recording, Microsoft is still developing links to additional social networking sites, including Facebook. Integrating Outlook with your social network results in one easy place to see all your contact data, and I for one, can't wait for those links to arrive on the scene.
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