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GIVE ME ANOTHER HIT: LinkedIn Endorsements, The Lab Rat and Lowest Common Denominators....

I don't want to go on a rant here, but LinkedIn went total lowest common denominator a few months back with the launch of LinkedIn endorsements.  Here's the press release description of this brave new world from the LinkedIn Blog:

"Starting today, we are introducing Endorsements, a new feature that makes it easier to recognize them for their skills and expertise.

With just one click, you can now endorse your connections for a skill they’ve listed on their profile or recommend one they haven’t added yet. Think your connection is great at programming AND project management? Let them know!

Here’s how you can endorse your connections:

  • On the top of a connection’s profile, you’ll see recommended endorsements for them. You can suggest additional skills as well.
  • You can also endorse them from the new Skills & Expertise section that now showcases these endorsements."

The dirty little secret? The system serves these up to you in a window at the top of your page, with four profile pics and a suggestion on what to recommend that person on.  Click on one to endorse, and the space is automatically replaced by a new person/suggestion.

Like a test lab rat, the system will allow you to click endorsements ALL DAY LONG to your connections.  It won't stop you.  If you're willing to click, it's willing to call the action you took an endorsement.  Here's what my "endorsement" board looks like.

Endorsements
That's right suckers.  I've got 270+ endorsements.  Total time taken by my posse to endorse me across all these "KD kicks #@@" actions?

Under 5 minutes. Total.  

Which is the problem and where LinkedIn talks out of both sides of it's mouth.  They shut me down a few years back when a couple of people said they didn't know me when I wanted to connect.  But - they're all to willing to allow meaningless banter when it fits their engagement/adoption/feature road map.

It's OK for LinkedIn to be superficial.  But if you try to be superficial?  You'll get banned from sending any more invites.

PS - I would have rolled out the same feature.  Anything I could do to give you that endorphin rush from LinkedIn, I would do it.  I'd let you draw bad mustaches on people you didn't like and have the world see it (but the person it question couldn't) for a period of 15 minutes if it would help the business plan.

OK - I wouldn't do that.  

Hold on - maybe I would.

In the time it took you to read this, I just endorsed 55 people.  For things like "Building Relationships"  I endorsed you.  You're welcome.  It's special.

Endorse me today.  Don't cost nothing

Comments

Keith McIlvaine

I don't like the endorsement feature but it seems to be the next necessary evil in the LinkedIn world. It appears to be very arbitrary and contrived, a dumbed-down recommendation feature if you will.

I also appreciate your reference to being on the receiving end of the LinkedIn shut down; I've been there a few times as well.

I presume this is the LinkedIn play into making profile skills more relevant and searchable, but will it have any sort of meaningful impact outside of search?

Colby Smith

Agreed.

I have endorsed a number folks in areas where I know they are competent...based on first hand experience.

But, I've also seen a number of endorsements come my way from people and thought "there's no way that person would know that I'm good in X area"

I'm not a Facebooker, but I'm equating "endorse" to "Liking"

Steve Boese

In a bit of an experiment, I added the skill of 'BBQ' to my profile, as of all my listed skills, it probably is my strongest. I have picked up a few endorsements for it as well, but sadly it is in danger of falling out of my Top 10 skills. But seriously, what would be more interesting, but will never happen because it doesn't fit the model, is if you were allowed to go negative on the endorsement game. When KD's profile page asks, 'Does Kris have skills in HR, Talent, etc.' there could be a 'No way' button to click. Would make the game more interesting, assuming people were willing to own their endorsements, both positive and negative.

Shirley Shurling

heck, I've gotten endorsements from people I don't even recognize (sorry to admit that)

I wonder if the endorsements will be used to supplement the TOP 100 RECRUITERS list that LinkedIN recently distributed - did anyone else get an email saying "check it out and se if you made the top tier?" Sorry to say didn't see my name - oh well maybe next year.


Brenda

I have people endorsing me all the time that have never seen my work. We may have met at a conference a few years ago and then connected with me on LinkedIn. Does that make their endorsement credible?!?

Tudor

@Brenda: That can't be verified. Since by looking at your profile I have no idea what your relation to every person that endorsed you is, I cannot tell who knows you and who doesn't (unless I also know them). Hence, to a stranger, they are all equally credible (or not credible) and here lies the problem in my opinion.

Carrie Brandes

Great post, Kris! I too questioned the endorsement feature. Little effort and superficial results. Wonder how this has impacted recommendations?

@steveboese - I like the negative ranking. It certainly would make people think twice as to what skills they claim to have on Linkedin. I think I will endorse your BBQ skills. Haven't had it, but I believe you.

Hinterland67

Good post

Endorsement.. to use the technical terminology..it is utterly pants
Not come across anyone who thinks it is useful

Actually wants me to visit less..
as does the can't see who's viewed you if your own searches are hidden.. but that I guess is fair game.

Where do I get the moustache drawing app btw - I mean it is Friday afternoon?1

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