The New LinkedIn Endorsements: Are We Being Gamed LinkedIn?

photodune 1989708 board game with color pawns xs The New LinkedIn Endorsements: Are We Being Gamed LinkedIn? Why is it all good social networks have to cave to the social game? Just when we finally got use to Klout’s K+’s and even enjoy a perk or two, now even LinkedIn is following suit with the gaming. At least Klout has a direct focus on influence and has fun while doing such. Kred is doing the best they can to bring both offline and community influence into consideration and much more.

Anyone who follows me knows I try to stay positive in both life and business which includes my blog and writing. I don’t believe in ranting and complaining to get attention or stir up a bunch of drama.

However, those who know me also know when something presses hard on my heart and mind I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut. This becomes true particularly when it involves ethical business practices and taking advantage of or guiding newbies in a potentially wrong direction.

I hope all who read this post that may be guilty of the practices I am going to call out know that I am not bashing you personally and do not want to do harm to your business. I will not call you out by name, Twitter handle or LinkedIn profile. I do hope though that maybe this post will inspire you to think twice about your actions and advice you are giving others who are not experienced enough with the social networks to know what is being gamed or not.

I have made a few screen captures below from profiles which are public, though no name is linked to them. All of these profiles can be found with a simple search and are available for the world to see. So, I am showing nothing that you couldn’t find if you did a quick two second search for yourself.

So, let’s get to the point of this post.

linkedin 300x199 The New LinkedIn Endorsements: Are We Being Gamed LinkedIn? LinkedIn Was One of the Last Standing Business Social Networks Not Gamed

LinkedIn has always been the social network that stayed true to real business, ethical business practices and minimized gaming.

I have been with LinkedIn since the first days they launched. They helped me find jobs, candidates for hire, partners, vendors, answers to questions and the list goes on.

We get some of our most qualified leads from LinkedIn as it’s usually the last stop prospective clients make. They know they can validate who we are, what we are and what we have done via LinkedIn. For that I truly thank LinkedIn and hope they will read this post and take it to heart.

Until recently LinkedIn was one of the last standing social networks where real business people could connect without feeling pressured to play the social search game. Yes, there is some gaming. Of course we have all optimized our titles, keywords, skills, job descriptions and more. However, up until now their social search algorithm seemed to be based on ethical business and content practices.

It is the one social network we have felt 100% comfortable introducing to even our clients who are brand new to social media. We knew that it could be trusted and that even newbies wouldn’t feel overwhelmed or get bombarded by spammers. We have helped many new clients kick off startup businesses and more with a simple LinkedIn group to get their feet wet to the social networks.

The LinkedIn Games Begin

LinkedIn recently launched endorsements. This is different from their existing recommendations featured they have had for years. With endorsements, instead of someone actually putting thought and spending time on a recommendation, they can endorse you in a split second.

linkedin endorse 2 The New LinkedIn Endorsements: Are We Being Gamed LinkedIn?

 

linkedin pam moore endorsements The New LinkedIn Endorsements: Are We Being Gamed LinkedIn?

I am not stating that endorsements are bad. Endorsements are of course good, when they mean something. I am thankful for the folks who have given me endorsements as I have not asked or begged anyone to do such. They have done such of their own free will and choice.

Here is my concern with how LinkedIn has implemented the endorsements: 

  • It takes one click. This is not a problem as long as they don’t wind up putting a lot of weight into the endorsement when it comes to social search etc.
  • They push the endorsements to you. Every time I login and throughout my visit to LinkedIn I am shown a screen with four people who I can endorse. It takes literally one click and “wala” I have endorsed up to four people.  LinkedIn even makes it easy for me to decide what skill to endorse. My contact’s skill is pulled from the person’s profile and all I have to do is click.
  • The endorsements are also pushed to me when I visit a profile.
  • People I barely know are already asking me for endorsements.  I am getting requests via LinkedIn email, Facebook and Twitter auto DM.
  • The new features seem to have attracted loads of spammers. The email spam on LinkedIn is so bad we even implemented a stop the spam campaign, “Pet My Pig” that you can see here-> “Stop the Social Media Spam – Pet the Pig Campaign

The Social “Expert” Gamers Are Ready to Play

Once I got wind of this feature and saw a few tweets from social media “experts” bragging about their social search ranking on LinkedIn via Twitter, our team did the double click. We were honestly shocked with the result. Below are a few of the highlights and a few screen captures at the bottom of this post.

photodune 2533081 magnifying glass xs 300x199 The New LinkedIn Endorsements: Are We Being Gamed LinkedIn? What we found when doing a search of the term “social media”: 

  • Profiles stuffed with nothing but keywords. Entire job descriptions and companies made up with buzzwords. No wonder they are ranking top of search.
  • Profiles populated with 20+  jobs that are fake. Some are adding 20 or more fake jobs and companies where the company is a skill versus a job. One or two I can see, but 20?
  • Job descriptions that are nothing but stuffed keywords.
  • Job titles that are 100% buzzwords.
  • The same people stuffing keywords, are blatantly promoting on their LinkedIn profiles that they can also help people get on the first page of LinkedIn. I think we’ve all been down this Google search path before, haven’t we folks?

Why Did You Have to Do It LinkedIn?

photodune 526136 why question abstract xs 300x235 The New LinkedIn Endorsements: Are We Being Gamed LinkedIn? What happened LinkedIn? Did the pressure get so bad you had to throw out with the bath water the business professionalism and differentiation that set you apart?

We don’t want another Facebook Branchout or Influence game with a social network that’s value is in business networking, not measuring influence. If you want to get into the social influence measurement game, this is a wacky way to do such and doesn’t come close to what both Klout and Kred have already implemented.

We liked you the way that you were. We liked knowing that we could leverage LinkedIn to verify our connections were real. We liked being able to do a search and get real results of people with real profiles with real experience for the terms we were searching, not just the companies or people who hired a social gamer to help them rank falsely.

Your algorithms are deteriorating LinkedIn. If they weren’t we wouldn’t see the people that we do on the top of search.

Please tell us that the endorsement games are not your future. Please tell us you are putting more into your future algorithm than a stuffed keyword profile to rank on the top.

I am one who is always in support of change when change moves in a direction bringing value to those that matter. Given LinkedIn has done little to explain their core vision and direction it leaves us to figure this out on our own. Based on what we know it’s not looking good.

Where We Stand and What We are Doing

photodune 171220 entrepreneur outsider or just pure shark bait xs 300x162 The New LinkedIn Endorsements: Are We Being Gamed LinkedIn? I will not encourage our clients to “game” the social search on LinkedIn.

We will do what we have always done with our clients which includes but is not limited to the following:

  • A plan based upon real business goals and objectives.
  • Integrated social media plan that aligns to business goals and objectives where social media can have a positive impact.
  • Development of content, profiles and social brands that offer value and are based on the client’s brand promise, not desire to rank high in a social game.
  • Inclusion of LinkedIn when and where it makes sense and aligns to goals and objectives.
  • Ethical development and optimization of their LinkedIn personal profiles and company pages.
  • Continue to help our clients stand out and build sustainable integrated platforms based upon the most valuable content that inspires and connects them with their target audience with a goal of helping their audience achieve their objectives.
  • Give LinkedIn the benefit of the doubt and hope that they will do what is right for their clients and social ecosystem as a whole.Related: Social Trust Factor: 10 Tips to Establish Credibility

We will not: 

  • Fall victim to social games, not even on LinkedIn.
  • Stuff profiles with 20 fake jobs, projects and companies to rank high on one social network.
  • Give LinkedIn more credit than it earns depending on where they go from here with social search and algorithms.
  • Waste time on giving or getting massive amounts of LinkedIn endorsements to rank high on a social search that is flawed on a social network that is clearly becoming gamed.

Where Are You Going From Here LinkedIn? 

iStock 000010779625XSmall 300x220 The New LinkedIn Endorsements: Are We Being Gamed LinkedIn? A few of the many questions I have for LinkedIn:

  • What exactly do you plan to do with endorsements?
  • How are endorsements being calculated into your social search algorithm currently and in the future?
  • What if anything are you currently doing and what do you plan to do with those who abuse the features and are blatantly “gaming” your social network?
  • Do you care about your loyal customers who have been here with you from the start and their needs?
  • What is your strategy and plan? Where are you going? What do you want to be when you grow up?

 

 What You Say? 

What are your thoughts? Are you tired of the social games? Do you agree that it is time the leaders of the social ecosystem stand up and state that this is not what we want? If we keep playing the game, the social networks will keep dishing us out the games of “Sorry” and “Trouble.’ My belief is we should expect and demand more not only of the social networks but of ourselves.

 

Screen Captures From LinkedIn Profiles Ranking on First Page LinkedIn for Term “Social Media”

Blatant promotion and promise to rank first page LinkedIn.

Hmmmm.. deja vu with the early days of Google search, heh?

linkedin page 1 The New LinkedIn Endorsements: Are We Being Gamed LinkedIn?

Stuffed LinkedIn Profiles:

linkedin stuff1 The New LinkedIn Endorsements: Are We Being Gamed LinkedIn?

 For Laughs… 

MjAxMi1mYTM4NGEwMjIxMTdhMjY4 The New LinkedIn Endorsements: Are We Being Gamed LinkedIn?

 

Additional LinkedIn Opinions From Around The Web

LinkedIn Blog: Introducing Endorsements Give Kudos With Just One Click

Inc.Com: LinkedIn Endorsements Changes Everything Here’s Why (Author Dave Kerpen)

Entrepreneur: 3 Tips for Using LinkedIn’s New Endorsements (Author Lewis Howes)

Viveka Von Rosen: LinkedIn Skills Get More Klout With New Endorsements

Geoff Livingston: LinkedIn Endorsements – Does it Get Any Cheaper?

Christopher Penn: Which is Better? LinkedIn Endorsement or LinkedIn Recommendation?

TechCrunch: LinkedIn Debuts Endorsements as a Lightweight Way to Recommend a Professional Contact’s skills

Social Media Examiner: LinkedIn Marketing New Features to Enhance  Endorsement

 

About the Author

Pam Moore

*Forbes Top 10 Social Media Women, Forbes top 50 Social Media Power Influencer - CEO / founder of Marketing Nutz, full service social brand, digital marketing agency. Social media marketing speaker, author, strategist, consultant, coach, & trainer. I help businesses of all size integrate social media into the DNA of their business, connect with target audiences to nurture authentic customer relationships. 15+ years experience working with Fortune 500, Franchised corporations with 4000+ local franchises to entrepreneurs and startups!

  • http://inspiretothrive.com/ Lisa Buben

    I’ve been very careful on how I have endorsed people on LinkedIn. I feel it’s just like giving someone a job recommendation and if they didn’t work it would be MY fault. I hope others take it seriously but then didn’t we have recommendations that had some depth to them?

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com PamMktgNut

      I have been careful too @Lisapatb:disqus . I always believe regardless if it is online or offline we should give without expecting anything in return. I give endorsements much the same way, if they deserve and have earned the endorsement then they’ll get it. I do hope LinkedIn takes the feedback across the social ecosystem to heart.

  • http://twitter.com/judymsnow Judy Snow

    Wow, Pam. A lot of effort on your part to stop the foolishness that takes away from those who use social media channels in the way they are meant to be used. And the “Pet My Pig” i.e., spam-free campaign, is brilliant.

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com PamMktgNut

      Thanks @twitter-248457620:disqus . My goal is always to teach our clients and students to build a sustainable platform which games are not usually a part of.

      Yes, we have had some serious fun with the “Pet my Pig” campaign. We’ve had many folks thank us and few who weren’t too fond of the pig ;)

  • http://twitter.com/TedRubin Ted Rubin

    Great post Pam. For me it is very simple… LinkedIn endorsement are too easy and have little value. It also takes the focus off of their very valuable recommendation component. But, on the other hand, they are trying new things and evolving/creating a much more valuable and fluid platform for social business connection and for that I applaud them.

    As far as any reference to Klout and Kred… so far they have little or no value and as long as they continue to earn all their revenue as marketing agencies that will continue. Klout has managed to become totally irrelevant as a measure (IMHO) as 2012 has moved along.

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com PamMktgNut

      @twitter-16261638:disqus I agree with you on both counts regrading LinkedIn. I was happy to see them trying new things It’s good to see momentum and at least effort. However, I’d love to see them build out some of the things that also are already bringing value to their members. There is so much that can be done with Q&A’s, groups etc. I know they must have a long list of feature requests as I have seen them requested over and over by community leaders etc. for years.

      Yes, I have learned to take the influence scoring platforms including Klout for what it is. We are still so new in the measurement of influence and in reality I think you and i both believe we can’t ever really measure true influence. My point was that at least Klout admits what it is and has learned. Of course they have a long way to go as do we all and as does any social scoring or measurement system. What bugs me is seeing platforms such as LinkedIn following suit with the influence scoring systems when in reality it just doesn’t make sense. I’d love to see their roadmap and reason for doing such. It just seems there is many more features they could be focusing on that would bring higher value to their key stakeholders and paying customers. ;)

      Thanks so much for stopping by and taking time to comment. Love seeing you around these parts. Glad to see you got electricity back. Stay safe and warm. My thoughts and prayers to you and all impacted by Sandy. :(

  • http://twitter.com/DavidatBigBeast Dave Harding

    Very interesting read. It’s a shame we have some truly worthwhile social media resources that can bring people together to share ideas and help each other out, and they all too easily get gamed and manipulated. Too many charlatans are out there always looking for a shortcut. I’d be curious: Is gaming effective in the long run? Or perhaps that doesn’t even matter to someone who would participate in such a practice.

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com PamMktgNut

      @twitter-462211180:disqus YES, sustainability is key. You hit the nail on the head. The sad thing is many who are already playing along with the LinkedIn game are those who have a life blood of internet marketing. They aren’t as much worried about business success but making money off of the trend. It will be interesting to see how LinkedIn handles this. I do hope they stop the gamers and put some quality control into their algorithm. Otherwise the value of their entire platform begins to become diluted IMHO .

  • http://twitter.com/techcanty Andy Canty

    Two things have made me doubt LinkedIn’s quality going forward. First, the over notification from its iPad app “everybody is now using LinkedIn’s iPad app!” over and over… The second is Endorsements. As I tweeted a while back there is something really ‘unclassy’ about Endorsements. In fact, I am noticing vendors are now using them as a way to initiate communication. Very disappointing as LinkedIn has been a really solid business solution in the last few years. Great post.

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com PamMktgNut

      @twitter-552449629:disqus Yup, I am seeing the same thing. The spammers are out in full force on LinkedIn as of late. Half of the invites I am getting seem to be from fake accounts and if I connect to one of them on accident I usually wind up with a spam SEO email or a request to guest blog or place a link on my site.

  • geofflivingston

    There comes a point in any brand’s life where you need to sacrifice quality to scale, or simply accept a niche market with new products and developments that meet the quality you are known for… LinkedIn has chose the prior route.

    I have serious hesitations about its ability to retain a high level of business integrity in the face of these changes. But nevertheless, they are first in the business social network market, and are likely to retain that position. Great post, Pam.

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com PamMktgNut

      @geofflivingston:disqus thanks Geoff. I agree and do hope they focus on the quality. They were one of the first in the game and have the foundation to redirect and do this right. It’s up to them what they choose.

      Thanks so much for your comment. I’ve really been liking your posts as of late as well!

      • geofflivingston

        Well, thank you! Very kind of you to say.

  • http://makeyourideasart.com/ Spyros Thalassinos

    Great article Pam. To me looks like LinkedIn ship is sinking, and is using people’s vanity to stay floating.

    Most of the engagement in LinkedIn was happening in the Groups, but the couple past months i have noticed the activity there dwindling as well, and turning to a spamming ground. I guess 1-click endorsements was their plan for increasing engagement and it seems to be working so far.

    As for their value, i can’t really see any. And if it heavily influences their search algorithm, most people will probably start seeing no value in LinkedIn as well.

    To be honest i can’t really see any value in Klout and Kred as well, and all those systems that supposedly count influence. According to Klout I am more influential than our Prime Minister, and none in Greece even knows me!

    I really hope your post reach LinkedIn’s developing team. You voiced something most people were thinking, but were too busy playing the new game, to say loudly.

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com PamMktgNut

      Thanks @sthalassin:disqus . We’ll see if LinkedIn sees this and more importantly if they choose to respond. I hope they do both as I do believe in their platform and want to see it succeed. It has offered us much value over the past 10+ years and I would hate to lose such a platform of integrity.

      I would love to see them beef up the groups features and even the ability to have more engagement with Q&A etc. There is so much that can be done to blend some of the the existing features as well as enhance them. I’ve never understood why they haven’t focused more on collaboration and making it easier for people to collaborate where they already are and where they start which is often on Q&A, polls etc.

      Regarding influence scoring systems, my comments are below in the reply to @twitter-16261638:disqus. I have learned to take the influence scoring platforms such as Klout and Kred for what they are. It’s impossible to truly measure influence as no online system can possibly know the influence or reach I really have online or offline. It’s disappointing to see a high integrity site such as LinkedIn follow in their footsteps for what seems like no validated business reason. Hopeful they have a plan to recover and show us there will be value in this somewhere.

      Regarding you being more influential than the Prime Minister, maybe he should get some K+’s and LinkedIn endorsements ;) (Joking!).

      Thanks for taking time to stop by and share your thoughts!

  • http://twitter.com/PeterFD Peter F-D

    Great post. You have salved my conscience for not replying to the small, but steady requests to be endorsed and also to respond to the endorsements I have been getting. A recommendation meant putting in a bit of effort on someone’s behalf. It is meaningful. A single-click endorsement to my mind is at the other end of the meaning spectrum.

  • http://plumeriamarketing.com/ Patti Langell

    I accidentally endorsed someone for a lot of skills I am not sure they have. I was trying to close it and accidentally clicked endorse. And I can’t figure out how to take it back. Oh bother!

  • http://www.facebook.com/danfurfaro Daniel Furfaro

    Thank you for this insightful post that has probably solidified a growing concern among most of us LinkdedIn Users who thought ‘ok, why is it asking me to endorse “all skills” for someone without even showing them all? Isn’t this too easy?

    Bottom line – this is an example of what happens when short-sighted business tactics deteriorate company image. Without a solid brand LinkedIn will quickly fall.

  • http://www.simplicityadmins.com/ Sarah Santacroce

    Thanks for this post, Pam. It’s aligned with my mixed feelings about endorsements. Yes, they are fast and practical, but I agree with you that they are just a gimmick and won’t add much value to someone’s profile. Will I trust a person more because she has hundreds of endorsements? No ! Will I trust a person more because she has real, specific recommendations on her profile? Definitely. The only positive thing I see is that it gave more importance to the skills section which some people were still not using yet on their profile. So – I’d also like to know where LinkedIn is going with this…

  • http://www.relaystationmedia.com David Vyorst

    While LinkedIn maybe diluting the value of its recommendations feature, I’m not sure how much keyword gaming this will add. Incentives to stuff job descriptions with keywords and game profiles existed before the endorsements, even if they do add a new level of gaming potential.

  • http://twitter.com/phoenixstar9 PHOENIXSTAR9

    just when I thought linkedin couldn’t get any less useful.. endorsements pop up. =/ I was slightly kidding linkedin is useful I liked the use of recommendations. I do value actual endorsements, not the whole, endorse me I’ll endorse you stuff though.

  • http://twitter.com/toddgreider Todd Greider

    Well said, Pam. I don’t agree with the strategy of adding several (or as you stated 20) job titles simply for SEO purposes. In addition, I feel that the roll out of Endorsements by LinkedIn lends itself to gaming. I will never ask for Endorsements on LinkedIn, however I am grateful for everyone who has chosen to endorsement me on their own free will. I prefer recommendations, as they require thought and effort to create as well as provide context for which the recommendation is being given. I prefer to have a more professional “feel” on LInkedIn and hope that they regain their focus on their intended audience, the business professional.
    Great article and thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!

  • http://twitter.com/ClareEvans Clare Evans

    Ditto to the great article and I totally agree – all these rating systems need to be taken with a pinch of salt and if they’re based on keyword stuffing and game playing – they’re really worth nothing.

    I find it amusing that a spammer can have a Klout score of 25+ and see similar things happening with Kred. It’s an amusement rather than a serious business tool and certainly makes no sense to chase meaningless measurements which have no real foundation on performance or results.

    It’s a shame that LinkedIn has gone down the same route. I will still only give and expect to receive Endorsements, recommendations or testimonials based on having done a great job rather than a few random clicks or tit-for-tat ratings.

  • Teri Ross

    Well said Pam. Here are my own thoughts. http://yourcmto.com/are-the-linkedin-endorsements-of-value/

  • http://www.facebook.com/celticharpmusic Anne Roos

    Personally, I don’t care one way or another about the endorsements. I don’t think they will get me hired or do anything in particular for me. But please don’t dismiss them altogether, just because strangers get into the action.

    I endorsed a friend of mine whom I haven’t heard from in quite some time. He sent me a message saying that he was laid off some six months ago and has been having a difficult time. He thanked me and told me that the little action of giving him an endorsement brightened his day. He never asked for the endorsement, I just gave it to him.

    Giving thanks by endorsing someone isn’t tacky. And I don’t think that asking someone to endorse you in a new endeavor is a bad thing either. May lend a little credence to a new skill. If I am endorsed by total strangers, I just ignore it. It’s their time they are wasting, not mine. And maybe, if they are endorsing people who are unemployed, they might just be lifting their spirits, too.

    Anyway, I just wanted to share this, because I was blown over at how the act of a simple little endorsement affected someone who is having difficult times.

  • HiltonB1

    Pam,

    Your post echoes one I wrote last month when I saw exactly the same situation bubbling up through my network;
    http://www.hiltonbarbour.com/wordpress/?p=1467

    Ironically my post lead to a flurry of Endorsements. Go figure.

    I believe the ethical users of LI – and the employers with integrity – will see through this charade and judge candidates based on a thorough vetting process. Those that don’t almost deserve to reap the downside IMHO.

    I put faith in Recommendations. I’m proud of the 50+ I have and feel like I’ve earned them. Endorsements feel like a lowest common denominator to me and a flagrant attempt by LI to “goose” their traffic figures.

    Here’s hoping this backlash from engaged and passionate LI users will result in the organization rescinding this feature. After all, isn’t “audience listening” one of the basic pillars of social media marketing?

  • gwenm4

    How timely! I just tweeted about this very topic today when I received yet another request from a stranger for an endorsement. Really, people?

  • http://twitter.com/deirdrereid Deirdre Reid

    LinkedIn’s endorsements are wildly inaccurate. Their promo screens feature only one skill. How LinkedIn selects that skill is beyond me, but dozens of my kind connections have decided to endorse me for something I do well, but isn’t what I do for a living — social media. I suppose that’s what I get for including it in my skills. Yes, I use social media skills but that doesn’t mean I deserve endorsements for them over my other skills, but that’s what happens.

    I even went so far as to ask some of my clients if they would endorse me for the skills that I use to help them — a selection of writing skills. But LinkedIn is still featuring social media so that’s the endorsement I get from my weaker connections. I give up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1125682498 Edmund Brophy

    Personal Branding And Profiling Your People Skills:

    The most important and the most highly paid form of intelligence in America is social intelligence, the ability to get along well with other people. Social intelligence is also known as human engineering or “your people skills”:

    Example:

    Imagineer, problem solver, open minded, change leadership, never considers failure, sense of urgency, unshakable optimist, meaningful specifics, resourcefulness, open networker, takes initiative, encourages others, critical thinker, team synergy, shares knowledge…and the list keeps going.

    “Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot; others transform a yellow spot into the sun.” -~Pablo Picasso

    “Even in lines such as technical engineering about 15% of ones financial success is due to technical knowledge and about 85% is due to one’s skill in human engineering.”
    ~ Dale Carnegie, Carnegie Institute, How To Win Friends and Influence people.

    Most skills belong to skill sets. You have the ability to list up to 50 skills on your profile.

    The “85%” or so of your people skills should be listed to highlight how you go about orchestrating your technical skills.

    “True effectiveness is a function of two things: what is produced (the golden eggs) and the producing asset (the goose).” ~Stephen Covey

  • Firehawk95

    Great article. LinkedIn has been declining in real functionality and
    benefits for the average user (read: free user) since just before its IPO. It all
    started with disallowing group members from contacting each other
    directly (and even the group managers), and now not allowing users to see the last names of 3rd party members. Networking, unless 2 people are already connected, or somehow
    are able to discuss stuff in spam-filled groups, is now impossible. It’s
    now just a big filing cabinet for recruiters. All these recent added benefits are useless fluff. I’m into networking, not collecting stamps. I wrote an article all about this 18 months ago: “LinkedIn Starts Digging Its Own Grave” http://jonathanblaine.com/wpress/2011/02/linkedin-digs-its-own-grave/

    Unfortunately, the tea leaves I was reading then were extremely accurate.

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  • http://www.michaeledits.com/ Michael LaRocca

    Several dozen specialties with 99+ endorsements each from people I don’t even know. That’s what I have, and I didn’t ask for any of them. They just keep coming.

    My concern is that those 27 recommendations I earned the hard way could be diluted by those other things.

    • http://www.michaeledits.com/ Michael LaRocca

      Hey Pam, I’ll endorse you if you endorse me. Kidding!

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  • http://twitter.com/anitahovey Anita Hovey

    Great article Pam. Ineresting findings…I haven’t come across any of those stuffed profiles yet. However, I am writing a blog post of my own on how LAZY endorsing can hurt your business… LinkedIn is pushing us to endorse for the wrong things in many cases. A financial advisor friend of mine has public speaking and small business listed much higher than anything to do with the services she actually provides. Not a helpful feature in my opinion because it’s too easy for people to endorse you for the wrong thing.

  • http://twitter.com/residualreach Marni Melrose

    I agree, I have people endorsing me for things I did years ago, but no longer do and I can’t seem to find a way to stop that. It is truly frustrating. I put in different skills but apparently LinkedIn keeps showing them my older skills.
    Also I joined a group, but it seemed just a way to harvest people’s Twitter names.
    Recently just haven’t gotten a lot of value from LinkedIn at all.

  • http://twitter.com/om_nick Nick Pearce

    so annoyed am I that I have recently added the skill ‘ThinksLinkedInEndorsementsArePointless’. Please feel free to endorse me for that!

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  • http://twitter.com/paulfuriga Paul Furiga

    Hi Pam, great post because you really walked people through the whole process. I love LinkedIn and believe in its power as a PROFESSIONAL social network. However, it’s been out long enough that the clients of our PR/social media agency are reporting experiences with endorsements that are troubling. I blogged about it here:
    http://www.wordwritepr.com/Blog/bid/111996/To-endorse-or-not-to-endorse-that-is-LinkedIn-s-question-here-s-my-answer

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1364190172 Jeffrey Perot

    This is an unbelievable thoughtful, concerned and prophetic article. I hope they listen.

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  • http://twitter.com/pooksean Sean Pook

    Too right. Recommendations mean something and I used to be proud that people could see on my profile at the top of the page how many I had. Now they’ve hidden this stat and introduced meaningless endorsements. Bring back recommendation weighting please!!!!

  • Ashok Grover

    I fully agree. i have got recommendations for the skills I don’t like and never added to my profile. Unknown people not only request for endorsements; but also endorse you without ever having worked with or even having met you. Endorsements have no meaning indeed!

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