I ran a couple of sessions this week for two sets of clients about ‘getting the most out of LinkedIn’ and the timing of that coincided with the new Endorsements feature that was launched.
Actually I think it was announced end of September but I didn’t notice the feature until this week. And not so much announced as ninja dropped on everyone with little explanation of how to use it.
Hence in both sessions I was asked straight off about endorsements and how they differed from recommendations and why you had to block-endorse 4 people at a time? You don’t – and that’s one of the usability problems with the approach LinkedIn has taken: it was causing everyone to click madly (initially) rather than endorse with discernment. And you can cross off / deselect some of the suggested skills in the blue box and then endorse the one you actually have first hand experience / evidence of that person having. Sounds obvious but people I’ve talked to were missing those x’s – but I’m guessing LinkedIn must have run a load of usability on this?
I’d already commented in a LinkedIn group I’m in (UK Marketing Group) and had prepared a slide on the Endorsements feature for my client sessions. Having read up a bit more as this develops at the back-end of this week, the consensus I think is / was the same as mine – here’s my post in the group discussion:
“Everyone likes an endorsement and this peer points system is a good idea I think.
My gut feel though is that the way it’s been rolled out (and without much in the way of guidelines) could indeed devalue that part of profiles.
I think if you ‘do your bit’ and stick to only endorsing first-hand experience of someone’s stated skills; they’ll be more robust. And have credibility.
But it’s likely that within a short time everyone gets click-happy and block-endorses (prompted by LinkedIn’s endorsement feature block with 4 users showing at a time)..
So the longer term effect I think will be for folks to take these endorsements with a pinch of salt?”
One thing I didn’t mention in that post but is covered nicely by another group member is that the long-form endorsements will be even more important to add weight / evidence to the easy-to-make endorsements.
He / his business (WSI) put a guide about it together and I’m sharing it here as I think it covers the questions / protocol for endorsing nicely:
I’m wondering actually if the endorsement system will be pulled into Klout or PeerIndex or some-such at some stage as part of your influence score? It could be one factor to show your professional / knowledge capital?
Happy endorsing, but hey kids, let’s be careful out there.
Oh , just spotted – now there’s a new Profile on its way.. busy times at LinkedIn towers.