Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Value of LinkedIn Endorsements

In the past couple of months LinkedIn has unveiled a new link and, perhaps more importantly, some new features, among them Endorsements. Basically, the feature aggregates the lists of skills a member claims to have and then asks his/her connections to endorse them for the skills. While it works as advertised, surprisingly, few have asked the $10,000 question, which in my mind is "What's the point?

There's nothing really new in the feature that can't be obtained through a recommendation, which gives a person additional room to expand on the reasoning for their recommendation. With endorsements, your only options are "endorse" or "skip," so other than the act itself, it doesn't really serve as a testimonial. 

It's true the whole discussion could be seen as academic, since no one's going to give someone a bad recommendation, just as no one's generally going to give someone a bad reference. You will likely either give one or you won't. LinkedIn -- and its users -- would have been better served if the site had created a portfolio area or something similar where someone could actually showcase work. Let's hope a feature like this will be coming soon!