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Metrics and YOUR data – using the ranking effectively

December 11th, 2006

Ranking and Degrees of SeparationSo in JibberJobber there are various places that you could measure the strength of certain things using a five-star system. I want to talk about this a little as I’ve had discussions and chats with users and have been impressed by the creativity, but also by the fact that I need to communicate what my intentions are with ranking.

The image on the right is just a snippet of my personal JibberJobber list panel – I’m a little surprised that by defaultI have so many high ranking contacts in this one little shot because I usually reserve the four and five stars for strong, strong relationships. Notice the second colum is DoS – degrees of separation – that is, is this someone that I know or met on my own (1), or someone that a network contact introduced me to (2).

The bottom line, though, is that the rankings are loose enough so that you can use them the way you need to – hopefully I’m not restricting the functionality.

The idea of the ranking came early on as I was learning a key issue in networking – that having a network is much more than just a directory with contact information. How cool would it be to know how strong your relationship is with each contact? That way you could view your network by those that would step out of a board meeting to talk with you (five-star), and someone that may not even remember who you are (zero or one-star). Note that ranking a network contact is in the free version, since its such a critical part of career management.

Taking it one step further, what if you can set goals to improve those relationships? Well, of course you can do that in JibberJobber (premium version). Its simple to say “take 30% of my network (or, certain categories within my network), and bump them up to the next rank within 30 days”… or, “take 40% of my one-star contacts and move to to at least two-star within 45 days”… whatever you need. Its a great way to proactively manage your relationships.

That was the intention of ranking – but when I was doing JibberJobber training a few months ago I had two other users that told me how they used it – and both ideas were fine! Actually, if you notice, I don’t call it “relationship rank” – I leave it open so the rank can mean whatever you need it to mean.

Ranking in JibberJobber

There is also ranking in other areas of the system – ranking a job that you are tracking, ranking a company, etc. Here are some of the different things that ranking can mean… I think that any are viable, but just be consistent or else it can lead to confusion:

  • network contact – the strength of the relationship
  • network contact – how strong I want the relationship to be
  • network contact – how important (powerful) this person could be (or is) to my network/career
  • job – how likely it is that I will get this job
  • job – how bad I want the job
  • job – how qualified I am for this job
  • company – how cool this company is
  • company – how closely this company matches what I want/need
  • company – how bad I want to work at this company
  • company – obviously, whether I like this company or not (if you get pink-slipped, and have bad feelings toward the company, recognize that you are in a position to be a connector and help others learn more about the company — and that your contacts there are more important than your feelings about it… so put your old companies in JibberJobber, even if you give them one measly little star ;))

These are just some simple ideas – I’d love to know how you use the ranking – leave a comment here or e-mail me offlist.

Note: I have some very cool things planned for the rankings throughout the system – it hasn’t bubbled up to the top of the list yet but when it does I know you’ll be impressed!

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One response to “Metrics and YOUR data – using the ranking effectively”

  1. All my contacts are 5 star Jason, except yours. 😉