Good or Bad? 1 Billion+ LinkedIn Endorsements

Why LinkedIn Endorsements are a good idea, gone bad. 
  

A few months ago, LinkedIn celebrated 1 billion endorsements by releasing an infographic (see below). Considering the passage of time and the increasing velocity of endorsement giving, this number may be over 3 billion by now.

On the face of it, LinkedIn Endorsements seemed to be a good idea. Users can endorse specific skills of others, thereby helping potential employers to more easily shortlist candidates (the ‘placement’ market is after all, the main revenue stream for LinkedIn). Users will also benefit from ‘social recognition‘ of their skills and capabilities.

However, all is not well in wonderland. The manner in which the Endorsement system has been implemented is resulting in several, hopefully unforeseen, problems. Three main issues are:

1. Personal Brand Dilution:

A user does not necessarily have control over what skills are being endorsed by others. Thus a skill which one does not wish to emphasize might get ‘suggested’ by LinkedIn for endorsement by others, while the skills a user has selected as part of his/her ‘online brand’ are not always visible. While a one can opt not to display a particular endorsement, the overall result is either a wasted endorsement or dilution of the personal brand.

2. Endorsement Value Dilution:

As per the current implementation, anyone can endorse any skill for any connections on LinkedIn. As a result, one may get endorsed for a particular skill by someone who is not is a position to make a genuine evaluation of the skill. For example, a Scientist’s mathematical skills can be endorsed by his/her basketball teammate – not exactly someone who maybe in a position to make such a judgement.  Alternatively, one might get endorsed for a skill that one does not possess [In jest, I've received an endorsement for Quidditch! Unfortunately, I cannot tell a Quaffle from a Bludger]. When combined with the fact that there is no way to verify endorsements, this results in the value of a LinkedIn endorsement being zilch.

3. Unusable LinkedIn Stream:

There was a time when one could view the LinkedIn activity stream and garner the major happenings in one’s professional network. Who changed jobs, who got promoted, who started something new. Now, the stream is largely unreadable, with the majority of updates simply stating that X got endorsed by Y for a skill Z.  Which has made the LinkedIn Activity Stream unusable.

1 Billion Endorsements Given on LinkedIn

State of the Social Network War

Facebook might be the biggest social network, but LinkedIn is clearly the stock market’s darling. 

 

While Facebook has been in the news recently for its dropping share price (which perhaps is not a fair reflection of future possibilities as I write in this earlier post), LinkedIn has been quietly going about its job. It has been announcing a slew of features. These include  new company pages, notifications, new mobile features, and Outlook integration.

 

Launching today is our new notifications feature, which will keep you notified in real-time when someone likes what you’ve shared on LinkedIn, views your profile, accepts your invitation, and much more.

 

 

 

 

On iPhone and Android:

  • Get notified: We will keep you notified in real-time when someone likes what you’ve shared on LinkedIn, views your profile, accepts your invitation, and much more.
  • Company pages goes mobile: Find out which connections work at the companies you care about, see recent news and updates from the company, and learn about current job openings.
  • Don’t want your employer to know you’re looking?: We’ve recently added access tojob listings and jobs you may be interested in directly within your mobile update stream.

 

 

Clearly, LinkedIn is doing better on the mobile platform (23% of LinkedIn users use its mobile apps) and on its ability to monetize its user base (for now). This is reflected in the rising share price – this wonderful chart by statista.com clearly shows that LinkedIn is thriving, while Facebook crashes (see the original chart here).

 

Image via Statista.com

 

And what about Google+? Well, this comic by xkcd says it all.

 

Google+

Image via xkcd

LinkedIn Integration with Outlook

 

LinkedIn has shared some more details about its ‘native integration with the new Office experience’. The LinkedIn App on Microsoft’s App Store will integrate with the new Outlook email and calendar to pull information from public LinkedIn profiles. Excellent idea – except that folks will have to careful while putting ‘looking for an opportunity’ as their LinkedIn headline! Get the app here.

 

Now every time you send or receive an email or check with whom you’re meeting with that day, you’ll see relevant information to help you be better prepared and armed for your work day, such as:

  • Their LinkedIn profile, including photo
  • Any professional updates or information shared on LinkedIn
  • Common connections and professional groups
  • Information about the person’s company and ability to follow that company
  • Ability to like or comment on their professional activity

 

Image via LinkedIn

 

See the original post here.

 

LinkedIn’s ‘Follow Company’ button

Earlier last month, LinkedIn launched a ‘Follow Company’ button, much on the lines of similar subscription / follow models on Facebook and Google+. This allows companies to add a ‘Follow’ button to their web properties. In the words of LinkedIn, clicking this button will enable companies to engage with existing and potential employees and customers.

 

Whether you are looking to stay up-to-date on company news, career opportunities or industry trends, following companies on LinkedIn is a great and easy way to gain insights and stay connected

 
This feature portends an uptick in adoption of LinkedIn by firms for not just recruitment, but also brand building efforts.

 

 

Get the code for the follow button here and read more here.

Using LinkedIn for personal marketing

Mindflash has released this infographic that provides a checklist of things to do on LinkedIn that can help in increasing the engagement and marketing of your personal online brand. It suggests having a completed, customized, spruced up profile and high engagement in networks and groups. The infographic also highlights a few key stats about LinkedIn such as 77% of its 135 million users are above 25.

 

Infographic: LinkedIn Bootcamp: Basic Training For The Personal Marketer

Image via MindFlash

 

See the original image at Infographic: LinkedIn Bootcamp: Basic Training For The Personal Marketer | Mindflash.

Linking business cards and LinkedIn profiles

LinkedIn has launched an updated CardMunch iPhone app. The app now allows users to scan a business card, add the details to their iPhone’s address book, enrich the information with data from the person’s LinkedIn profile, and take personalized notes.

For the first time, we’ll be connecting the physical world of business cards with the digital world of LinkedIn profiles, and helping millions of professionals everywhere take the world of contacts and phone numbers into the future of professional networking. We’ve also done a major re-haul of the CardMunch experience with particular focus on how we can make outbound professionals more successful and productive.

Image via LinkedIn

Read more at The LinkedIn Blog » Blog Archive LinkedIn’s New CardMunch iPhone App: Reinventing Business Cards «.

 

A link to the app is here.

LinkedIn introduces Statistics for Groups

Following on the heels of its launch of its Classmates feature, LinkedIn has introduced a statistics dashboard for LinkedIn Groups. Like Classmates, the Groups dashboard displays key summary information in a graphical form. This information is of three types -

Member Demographics,

In the demographics view, we show you who’s in the group.  You can see information about the seniority level, function/role, location, and industry of the various professionals in the group.

Group Growth,

Here we show how the group has grown over time.

and Group Activity.

In the activity panel we focus on comments and discussions.

 

This feature again provides a glimpse into the powerful data that LinkedIn can call up. From a user perspective, it provides unique insights into the makeup and functioning of groups – thereby providing information to businesses on how to increase user engagement in affiliated groups through targeted efforts.

 

Image via LinkedIn

 

Read more at The LinkedIn Blog » Blog Archive Bringing you insights into LinkedIn Groups with our new statistics dashboard «.

Social contacts belong to employers

An English court has ruled that an employee’s business contacts on LinkedIn belong to the employer. This opens up several critical debates on the ownership of electronic social content and electronic social relationships. Do contacts on less ‘professional’ networks, such as FaceBook and Twitter, also belong to employers? How to differentiate between contacts made prior to the employment? There are also implications towards use of social networking sites- perhaps this ruling will lead to a fragmentation of an individual’s social profiles into several ‘temporary’, employer specific profiles and a ‘permanent’ personal profile?
linkedin

Image via Wikipedia

Now, a court in England has issued an order that requires an employee who resigned to start his own consulting business to turn over all of his LinkedIn contacts to his former employer – along with receipts and contracts proving that none of them became clients of his new firm.

Read more at Who Owns Your LinkedIn Contacts? – Forbes.

LinkedIn Classmates

LinkedIn has launched a new feature – ‘Classmates’. It provides a graphical display of summary information about school and college alumni. This is a glimpse into the power of the social information LinkedIn has access to – imagine viewing such graphs for each organization listed on LinkedIn!

Read more at The LinkedIn Blog » Blog Archive LinkedIn Classmates: Explore possibilities by connecting with fellow alumni «.