You know the old joke.
First man: I’m on LinkedIn!”
Second man: “Really? I didn’t know you were looking for a job.”
I’m on LinkedIn not because I’m looking for a job (I already have too many of those) but because I feel that if one writes about this stuff then one should experience it. For a long time, my LinkedIn membership did not have too many annoying side-effects — beyond the occasional idiotic request from complete strangers for a “connection”. But recently I’ve been getting emails from LinkedIn telling me that various friends have “endorsed” me. This is annoying and embarrassing because I haven’t asked anybody for ‘endorsement’, and so I feel I should write to them and apologise. But, it being Christmas, I have had other things to so. So this is to say to all my LinkedIn contacts: I’m sorry you’ve been troubled by this idiotic attempt by LinkedIn to drum up business.
LATER: Turns out that I’m not the only person to be annoyed by this. Here’s something from The Inquirer, for instance:
Many Linkedin users have taken to the professional network to air their complaints about Endorsements.
“As an employer, I don’t think that I’d want to hear an opinion on someone’s abilities that hadn’t been carefully thought out. What would be the point?” one noted on a Linkedin forum.
“As the feature stands, it’s really just eye-candy for Linkedin, perhaps catching the attention of an employer but quickly fading away under detailed scrutiny.”
Another complained, “I think the endorsements are silly. It’s like ‘recommendation lite’. If you want to recommend somebody, take the time to write one. I am making it a practice not to endorse any skill that I haven’t had the opportunity to see someone demonstrate.”
Some could see value if the feature was used in a certain way.
“I would say this is a great way to endorse someone you know and whom you have worked with,” said one user. “I make it a point to endorse ONLY the person whom I know and worked with closely, also ONLY on the skills I know he has contributed, in my professional association with him.”
STILL LATER: This from Laura James.
EVEN LATER: Nice post by Quentin.