Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What is a LinkedIn "endorsement" and is it a good networking feature?

The title of this Business Insider post on LinkedIn's endorsement feature pretty much answers the second question:

Why I Think LinkedIn Endorsements Will Be Dead By The End Of The Year

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So what’s an endorsement? LinkedIn automatically pulls keywords from your profile and suggests several skill areas that others can endorse with a handy one-click, accept-all option. Now when you sign into LinkedIn, you might be greeted with a suggestion like this: “You know Kevin. Is he an expert in Business Development? If so, endorse him.”
Since endorsements involve a single mouse-click, I can endorse 60 people in 10 minutes and not break a sweat. Click, click. Then the network marketing effect takes hold. The person you just endorsed will receive an email that you’ve done so and suggesting that, perhaps, he or she would want to return the favor. Why not? Above your profile LinkedIn lists a few of your connections and their many skills and specialties. And off you go: Click, click, click. “Look at me, being nice.”
Then what’s the difference between LinkedIn endorsements and hitting the “like” button on your cousin’s Facebook status update about taking Rover to the dog groomer? In my opinion there isn’t any. Depending on the endorser, it’s become either a nice little hello from a friend or an awkward form of self-promotion.
Not surprisingly, I’m far from alone on questioning the value of endorsements. Check out the comments on this LinkedIn forum.
I’ll go so far as to make this prediction: By the end of this calendar year, LinkedIn will drop endorsements from its site and everyone will realize all those little blue rectangles filled with words like “Cloud Computing,” “Writing,” “Product Marketing,” etc. are worth as much as the effort it took to award them to somebody: Nothing. 
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Continue reading here.


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