Friday, October 12, 2012

Linkedin: Endorsing "Skills and Expertise"

I attended a couple networking functions this week and several people asked me what's going on at LinkedIn, particularly with getting endorsements.
A new LinkedIn feature has  some people confused. Early in 2012 LinkedIn did the beta for “Skills and Expertise”, where LI members could claim expertise in defined areas, like marketing, sales, business development, PR and many others, including skills you could create yourself.

While similar to "Recommendations" these are easier because instead of writing a real recommendation, you just have to "click."

The official LinkedIn explanation can be found by scrolling over the "?" on the right side of the "Skills and Expertise" location on a profile:

What skills and expertise does (name) have? You can endorse your connections to give them recognition.
Click on the + to add your endorsement."

Simple, right?

But when a social network adds a function without announcing and explaining what it is and the accompanying value,  people get confused and some get paranoid.

Generally, LinkedIn has been pretty good at adding features, and I think this one will become popular, but an announcement would have helped. If they made one, most of us missed it.
I think this will catch on soon. Indeed, many LinkedIn "regulars" have already caught on and others seem to be following. Those with more popular profiles seem to be gathering lots of endorsements.

Downside? Many of the LinkedIn "Open Networkers" (aka LIONS) will be racing to see who can get the most endorsements, thereby devaluing the currency.

Some LinkedIn members actually deserve hundreds of endorsements, but many will blatantly asked there thousands of connections to endorsement them.

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