linkedinThe one thing that I love about LinkedIn is that it is a business focussed network platform, exactly the opposite of Facebook.

LinkedIn is for real business people to network with peers and organisations that they relate to, do business with or are targeting. The platform has continued to improve it’s functionality as it matures.

However, LinkedIn’s latest endorsement functionality has people are starting to doubt the use and veracity of the endorsements people are making, which directly undermines the whole networking concept

But as this article in Business Insider outlines, LinkedIn does need to watch that it doesn’t fall into the same trap that Facebook faces with it’s “Like” functionality, namely the network marketing effect.

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 favour. 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.

I totally agree with the writers perspective.  The value of the recommendations is that they are like little references that are posted online on your profile.

I dont really care for the endorsement functionality much at all and hope that LinkedIn scales this back and puts more emphasis back onto the idea of real recommendations from real people that you have worked for or with.