LinkedIn endorsements: what value?

LinkedIn endorsements exampleLinkedIn recently introduced a simple one-click skill endorsement feature that pops up when viewing a connection’s profile. It is also possible to send out endorsement requests to connections. Are these a good thing?

Good

On the positive side, it is always nice to feel valued and acknowledged and this process makes it easy to gain endorsements. Highlighting skills keywords will bring these to a profile reader’s attention and potentially boost SEO.

Bad

On the negative side, the simplicity of the process also devalues it and, consequently, the LinkedIn brand. Such easy endorsements are potentially meaningless and virtually unverifiable. In a race to display high scores, the system can easily be ‘gamed’ (especially trading amongst friends) and it can create unnecessary tension between connections (why haven’t I been endorsed back?). The process also increases the amount of emails generated by LinkedIn, which is already a sore point with many users.

Make your own mind up

Overall, LinkedIn’s endorsements seem more negative than positive. Do you agree? Can you see a greater value in these endorsements? Do you think that they will boost your reputation?

Best of the rest

Christoper S. Penn sees value in both recommendations and endorsements: Which is better, LinkedIn recommendations or LinkedIn endorsements?

Linda Coles can’t see a down side: 6 tips for using LinkedIn endorsements

Eric Wittlake thinks they have as little value as Klout!: No!! LinkedIn just went Klout on us!

Comments

  1. Hi Dan, thanks for this. Yes indeed, hence the question of value (and this is pertinent to ‘likes’ on Facebook etc. which are only a fraction of the picture of success). LinkedIn already had a system for recommendations. These require some thought by the writer and are easier to verify and consequently generally have more value. But they can also be traded and many are actually quite unconvincing. I don’t think that LinkedIn needs a simpler system (or to be more ‘social’) and some of the negative elements of endorsements may unfortunately put off serious users.

  2. Dan Bond says:

    Is this not true of all these kinds of features though? If there is a logical process behind them you can learn it and game it. SEO is an industry based on this idea, you could do it with recommendations too, as well as Facebook likes and Twitter followers…

  3. Is this is not an issue with all website features like this? They can all be manipulated and gamed. Many SEO techniques are about doing just that. The recommendations can be falsified too, there are fake Facebook likes, Twitter followers. Any system if it relies on a logic based process can be learnt and used to someones advantage.

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