These are the professional network’s equivalent of the Facebook ‘like’ button, taking little time, asking for little engagement and requiring little thought.
(LinkedIn recommendations remain the exact opposite; they are hard won and hard to give, a gold standard.)
And yet, is LinkedIn onto something? Though each individual endorsement means little (though it’s pleasant to know that someone remembers you and thinks highly of you in some way), collectively they add up to something.
They paint a picture of your skills and expertise that’s an honest picture because it’s composed of lots of small votes.
What does this popular vote say about me? That I have expertise in public relations is not surprising as my job title (senior lecturer in public relations) proclaims it, as do my professional experience and memberships.
Next to this, I’m evidently an expert in media relations. If you add press releases to media relations, that’s my main specialism, eclipsing all others including my social media expertise.
How can I be such an expert in a field I’ve not practised for over 15 years? The vote probably comes because of the number of students I’ve taught over the years, and a few may even have read the chapter I wrote on ‘media relations’ in a well-known textbook. I can’t disown my past, and I am proud of the classes and lectures I’ve given in this field.
But is there a problem with crowdsourcing? Does it encourage crowd-like behaviour? Are some endorsing me for skill simply because they’re following the herd and being swayed by the popular vote? In verifying our past, does LinkedIn make it harder for us to reinvent ourselves?