Posts tagged ‘recommendations’

October 17, 2012

Not sure I endorse LinkedIn’s new “endorsements” feature

Over the past few weeks, you’ve probably noticed a few emails about people “endorsing” you on LinkedIn.  I got a few of them too, so I thought I’d check it out. I logged into my account and viewed who has endorsed me, and started endorsing people.

LinkedIn’s blog announcement says “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!”

And with this, LinkedIn is trying to join the game of online influence. Essentially, they’ve created their own version of Klout, or PeerIndex, or Kred.  Just take a quick look at the profiles on these services below…

…LinkedIn “endorsements”…

 

…kind of looks like…Klout Topics…

…which kind of looks like…the Kred Dashboard…

….which kind of looks like…PeerIndex…

In a world saturated with “topic influence” services, I fear that this isn’t the right move for LinkedIn. Besides competing with an already crowded marketplace, the “endorsements” feature has the potential to harm the LinkedIn experience itself by detracting from the “recommendations” feature. In short, I think people will opt to endorse somebody rather then recommend them, and here’s why that matters: “recommendations” are written explanations about why an employee is valued. They usually refer to specific  experiences, work projects, or professional attributes, and the relationship of the author to the person they are recommending is disclosed. An “endorsement”, on the other hand, is a quick “+1” on the user’s self-proclaimed skills. One can simply scroll down a user’s profile and click on each of their skills. No explanation, no disclosure of relationship, no details.  This quick “+1” ability may also leave the door open to “I’ll endorse you if you endorse me back”  behaviour.

Trying to measure online influence isn’t a bad thing. In the past, I must admit, I’ve tried to boost my Klout score. I made sure my content was focused, interacted with others regularly, pushed out a lot of updates, etc. But there have also been times when I just didn’t care about it and I completely ignored my social media accounts. Neither of these actions seemed to have influenced my score much, so I can’t see myself continuing to be active in the “endorsement” game.

The Project Management LinkedIn group has a decent discussion this week about “endorsements”. A few good points were made:

What do you think? Are “endorsements” a welcome way to give kudos to colleagues, or a wasteful exercise in meaningless rewards?

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