Social Networking – What is the Deal with LinkedIn Recommendations?
Asking for a recommendation from someone who knows you and your work is one thing, but to request recommendations from people you don’t know is unethical.
Is it just me? I don’t get it.
I’m sure Recommendations started out as a ‘good’ thing – a place where clients, peers, co-workers, and others who know you and your work could promote your capabilities and skills. This is a valuable promotional strategy when done ethically.
LinkedIn is supposed to be a professional network, a place to possibly find work and business connections. A place for . . . professionals. If you, or I, or Joe, or Mary recommend a connection we don’t know, what does that do to the system?
How can LinkedIn Recommendations be taken seriously if people willy-nilly recommend others?
Going back to the requests I received, one of them was a mass-mailing. Again, I just don’t get it. What happened to ethics and professionalism?
The other request was for a recommendation and it included a PLEA to buy ALL his books and ebooks, to help him avert becoming homeless.
What’s a bit more upsetting to me is that both requests came from writers, supposedly professional writers.
Now, my heart goes out to those in need and I would certainly help if I could. But, how on earth are we to know who is in real need and who is spamming us? And, how can you ethically recommend the writing, marketing, or other skills of someone you don’t know?
While I had a lot of respect for LinkedIn, that respect is waning. Their Recommendation system needs a revamping with some controls put in place. As it stands now, if you’re looking for a professional in a particular arena you won’t know for sure if that individual or business has ‘real’ or ‘unethical’ recommendations. This devalues LinkedIn as a quality place to find and connect with qualified professionals.
The major problem I have with the LinkedIn Recommendation system, say compared to Facebook Likes or Twitter Follows, is that it’s targeting the quality and value of a member’s work. Facebook and Twitter are more of a popularity contest – no one is attesting to the quality of a member’s work or talent.
I hope LinkedIn is taking note of how their Recommendations system is being used. And, if they are, I hope they do something about it.
Okay, enough ranting.
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