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.
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.