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Why am I being endorsed for skills and expertise I do not claim on my profile? (linkedin.com)
218 points by processing 1487 days ago | hide | past | web | 160 comments | favorite



I quickly realized how little value the endorsement system in linkedin was when my uncle endorsed me for Groovy. In my mind I like to think he was picking it as a personality trait and not a skillset.


In case you don't realize it, the reason your Uncle did that is because LinkedIn prompted him to, by fraudulently showing a message that looked like it was from you, asking for endorsement. He was probably no more comfortable endorsing you for that than you were in receiving it, and you are both losers from it (him for looking like he endorses anyone for anything, and you for looking unprofessional to your "real" network who actually know that you are not qualified in that skill but now see you "claiming" it on your profile). The only "winner" is LinkedIn, who get to sell more ads and referrals to their recruiters.


"by fraudulently showing a message that looked like it was from you, asking for endorsement"

Citation needed.

I never saw a message like that

What I've seen is "Does Person knows about Technology/Skill" and then you can click to endorse that

Well, today I got one "fake" endorsement, not far from what I do, but not what I had added to my list of skills


The word "fraudulent" is excessive, but when a site asks me a very specific yes/no question like "Did Paul graduate from Stanford on June 6, 1999?," it feels like this is user-generated data rather than Linkedin-generated data.


Yep. And the sad thing is, it's one of the less shady and fraudulent things that LinkedIn does on a regular basis.


if you look closely, it only says - "Does X KNOW ABOUT"


Yeah - I am not sure how people don't realize what is really going on here... Linkedin found a great way to entice user engagement - by asking pointed questions about people you know and may have insight on their skills.

I don't see anything "shady" about this as much as I do see it as a targeted use of their system, in a germane method.

If you are not keeping linkedin as a silo of professional, superficial, contact with the many many many people you will work with over your career - and you don't understand why things like endorsements both happen and are a part of the linkedin ecosystem, then you're not using linkedin correctly.

Firstly, you shoul unsub from all notifications from linkedin aside from who has viewed your profile.

Second, its not facebook, thank god. You're not there to impress people by the content you create. You're there to show that your influence in your field is a positive attractor via the quality of your network; if you have good people and companies recommending you - then you have more marketability for your CV...

The people posting to linkedin groups really frequently telling you what to follow and what valuable BS skill/fad thing thats new - they are typically marketing, sales, bizdev and unskilled folks... stay away from the idea that you're going to show the world how farking smart you are via a linkedin post.

Work hard - build a good network. Have strong ACTUAL skills. People who know you will hit "yes, they DO know this" when linkedin asks this...


> build a good network

Good or big? Commercial companies usually pick big, and history has proven that there is no way to achieve both big and good (MySpace and Facebook being the obvious candidates).


> Work hard - build a good network. Have strong ACTUAL skills.

Yes. But linkedIn doesn't come in there at all.


>...build a good network...

Keeping track of that network is enabled via linkedin. You do NOT need to follow all the personal lives of people you work with. You should keep a pulse of where they move to and what position they hold over the years.

So if you leave a company and had a great rapport with your peer Z -- and they go on to startup X and become head of Y and you are looking to work in a department like Y with a person like Z... then this is a good thing.

So, yeah - i think Linkedin comes in.

Further, assuming you transition to consulting. Recruiters and the like will seek out people with skills on linkedin to fill positions they only know about. If you are strong, you are your own best/worst negotiator when it comes to getting these contracts.


>>Keeping track of that network is enabled via linkedin. You do NOT need to follow all the personal lives of people you work with. You should keep a pulse of where they move to and what position they hold over the years.

This is called "networking" and people have been doing it since long before LinkedIn. If you want to learn how, read Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty by Harvey Mackay.


Even LinkedIn looses, as they do get more noise in their data, so that their intel about you, their matching will become worse, when a lot of people are endorsed for things they do not like to highlight, or are endorsed by family even if the skills are not that "good"...

So everyone looses, even recruiters, as they get more false positives when searching for skills.

It is a short business-win for LinkedIn, but a long term loss.


Why? LinkedIn might be using more sophisticated data internally to differentiate real from bogus endorsements than they show externally.


But how do they differentiate between the two. How do they know, that endorsement a is less worth, than say endorsement b?

And how to be sure about the differentiation?

Bit I have to say I'm biased: I really do not give much on these sites. I tried LinkedIn years ago, but nearly no one used it here in Germany. I used to use the local equivalent, but it really was a big waste of time, at least for me and all the people I know who used it.

Recruiter spam, self-exposers, and so on. Nothing ever came from it. Really nothing.

So these sites ultimately live of the dreams of people and of recruiters with the (imho) wrong incentives.


> But how do they differentiate between the two. How do they know, that endorsement a is less worth, than say endorsement b?

E.g. they know _when_ a user endorsed, and if they endorsed all four or individually. And they know more about the user--ie how often he endorses, and who he's connected to.

And, yes, I agree with your low opinion of linkedIn and co. (Even though a close friend of mine actually got a job with the MathWorks in Germany through linkedIn---she was cold-emailled by an internal MathWorks recruiter.)


I was joking with a friend and endorsed him for "Knife Skills" -- which is one of the presets you can choose.

(It's intended for chefs, not game developers.)


I endorsed an old project manager for "Music" because he was a terrible project manager, but a great musician. Though, it was more of a career recommendation than a joke


I've seen "Common sense" and similar jokes as endorsed skills


A friend/ex-colleague just added "General Awesomeness" as a skill :)


Drunken Carousing is another.


> my uncle endorsed me for Groovy (...) as a personality trait

I laughed harder than usual at that. I wonder what a "groovy" professional would be? :)


Groovy is a programming language on the JVM http://groovy.codehaus.org/


Unfortunately, more attractive language to me, Groovy++ didn't get much traction.

Nowadays, Groovy seems to fading as well.


I'm starting out on Grails, do you suggest I shouldn't?

Our requirements are that whatever I choose must be Java-based, and have some nice framework.

Within those constraints, is there a good Grails replacement?


No, not at all. I meant in terms of hype and popularity. Otherwise, it seems quite solid to me, and they (Groovy and Grails) are in active development.

There is another interesting jvm language: http://gosu-lang.org/compare.html

Web framework for gosu: http://ronin-web.org/

But it is even less popular and I'm not sure if it even has an active community.


Gosu is the language developed by Guidewire, a major insurance software provider :) (I work in the insurance sector. I wish my company bought Guidewire).

But yeah, it's much smaller than Grails.


That is great. It shows you the value of the endorsement is really nil. Personally, I'm not as impressed with an endorsement unless it is from someone, who themselves is well respect, or holds a high position. The original concept was good, but it was a low lying fruit, perhaps it is time for some AI by Linked In to try and solve the problem.


"Hey erikj54, pg just endorsed you for "HN Commenting Skills" -- We'd like to ask you (5) questions regading HN commenting! in order to publish this endorsement to your profile:

1. Assuming you just created an account on HN and immediately see a comment you disagree with. Can you downvote this comment? [Y/N]

2. A YC Company just posted a job posting to HN, can you post why you are a perfect rock-ninja for the job as a comment? [Y/N]

3. Can a comment receive greater than -4 comment Karma? [Y/N]

4. Can you downvote a comment reply to your OP comment? [Y/N]

5. How important is being civil in HN threads [Very Important/Not Important]

---

This might work....


When I read that I imagined LinkedIn is refering to the groovy programming language http://groovy.codehaus.org/

Of course... that doesn't make a lot of sense for a personality trait either... It makes as much sense as describing someone as C++. Maybe I'm misunderstanding something here.


Groovy (or, less common, "Groovie" or "Groovey") is a slang colloquialism popular during the 1960s and 1970s. It is roughly synonymous with words such as "cool", "excellent", "fashionable", or "amazing", depending on context.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groovy


That this needs to be explained makes me feel old.


I suspect that it is a geographical-cultural thing, not an age-culture thing.

edit: for clarity


Old people have different cultures.


It's both.


Well, in my defense, I know what it means to be groovy and sorry if post made it seem otherwise. What I was misunderstanding was the fact that you can actually endorse personality traits on people since I have made a point of staying as far away from LinkedIn as possible. I thought that you were only able to endorse skills, and so when I saw they were endorsed for a personality trait I was a little confused and wondered if they meant that as a skill trait :)


I interpreted the OP as saying that the uncle endorsed "Groovy" as a skill (presumably the programming language), but probably thought it was a personality trait.


It's as if Dude from "The Big Lebowski" had LinkedIn endorsements:

[ Groovy ][ Chilled ][ Fights "The Man"]


Wikipedia is OK, but I don't think anything can explain Groovy as well as Simon & Garfunkel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvlW4bEjB5A


This might help - http://youtu.be/mWBvcJAXwu4 (Simon & Garfunkel)


Perhaps an expert in Groove?

http://grv.microsoft.com/


What is that with family members going on linkedIn? My aunt is a retired teacher and she went on linkedIn under a (religious) pseudonym and tried to connect to me. And I also got endorsed by a university professor who never taught me (but we knew each other a bit) about ruby on rail that was not yet created when I was a student. I'm about to call bullshit on professional social networks (yeah, because each country has it's favorite moreover, so I'm stuck with viadeo, linkedIn and Xing), I never got a job or recruited through that, and they are just annoying with alert e-mail.


A free pair of bell-bottom jeans with every website :-)


I'm endorsed for "Social Justice"


The end state here is clearly that everybody will be endorsed for everything.


Interestingly, "Murder" is a legitimate skill on LinkedIn. Not practitioners, but criminal lawyers advertising their expertise.

http://www.linkedin.com/skills/skill/Murder

The related skills sidebar is also hilarious.


I'll tell that to my brother-in-law. He writes thrillers featuring a "corporate trouble shooter" specialized in "fortunate accidents" as protagonist, and he pretends to be his main character on social networks. This would be just perfect for him.


As is the related locations sidebar on the other side.


I don't think endorsements are meant to be true endorsements. If they were, LinkedIn would have written a weighted endorsement system by now (where an endorsement from someone with expertise in some field means more than, say, an endorsement from your realtor about your JavaScript skills).

It's just crowdsourced tagging with a different name. This way, recruiters who pay LinkedIn $10k/yr can more easily search profiles for keywords.


I think this is absolutely right on. But a smart recruiter would realize that some measurable chunk of endorsements are selected by people who have no clue as to your skill set or level of ability in that particular area -- people who, for example, logged in, saw four possible endorsements they could give people in their network at the top of their screen, were feeling beneficent that day, and clicked on all of them. Or someone who you just endorsed for a skill, and they see that you did, and want to endorse you for something but already endorsed you for the 10 skills you preloaded, and so they just pick the first thing LinkedIn recommends.

Presumably LinkedIn has some algorithm by which they look at people with similar skill set groupings, and say ah, statistically most of the people with this set have these three additional skills, and then farm that out to your network to see who endorses it. New endorsements tweak the skill set, which feeds back into the algorithm. It's almost like a glorified, twisted game of The Game of Life.


"But a smart recruiter would realize that some measurable chunk of endorsements are selected by people who have no clue as to your skill set or level of ability in that particular area"

I don't use LinkedIn to do keyword searches really, but if you're into that sort of thing, I imagine that having tagged profiles is still much more useful than not having them.

Presumably, if you're a typical recruiter, you'll combine a keyword search with a list of schools or companies that your clients agree are a good proxy for aptitude.

Or you'll do a bit of manual pruning, blast some subset of the search results, and see what sticks.


a smart recruiter would realize...

Nobody said the smart recruiters are their target market.


Sounds like a narrow niche to me.


You just blew my mind. I had never considered that. Now that I think about it, this must be how endorsements are being used in the LinkedIn backend.


The issue there is that the value of those tags decreases if the majority just accept those tags suggested (which from what I've seen, most users do). There's no penalty to giving a tag, so if someone says "What to help one of your mates get a job by spending <1 second hitting a button" there's no reason not to (beyond your personal principles at least). To fix the system you either need to limit the number of endorsements you can give (e.g. you're allowed to give 3 endorsements (to anyone) for each contact you have), or have some way to force a comparison (e.g. is A or B a more competent Java developer in the context of Gaming?).


I'd think this is pretty straightforward.

The real business of LinkedIn is selling services to employers and space to advertisers [0].

The more data points they have on each user, the more numerous results they can return to recruiters and more specific targeting they can do with ads.

Endorsements are a way to easily, indirectly expand a user profile by turning the additions into 1-click suggestions and consents rather than requiring real action by the user.

If it were socially acceptable I expect they'd ask users to upload profile photos and estimate salaries for their connections too.

0: http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomiogeron/2013/08/01/linkedin-q...


> The more data points they have on each user, the more numerous results they can return to recruiters and more specific targeting they can do with ads.

The thing is that endorsements at least are pretty noisy data. What's the point of shooting for quantity at the expense of quality?


I happen to think the endorsements are part of one of the dark patterns. They get a set of endorsements from someone, because hey, I know that guy/gal and want to give them a boost. Then they get to email the person being endorsed, and say "hey, so and so endorsed you, you should put those on your profile!". So far, fairly banal, if cheesy. But I believe they hold them back. They don't just email right then, they save them, or some of them, so they can trickle out the info over time and keep emailing you. The amount of useless email I get from Linked-in is silly. They also do the auto opt-in to new (email intensive) features. Lately a lot of the useless info has been endorsements.


>"The thing is that endorsements at least are pretty noisy data. What's the point of shooting for quantity at the expense of quality?"

Personally, the endorsements I receive are fairly noisy, but I'm acting as the second level of informed filter by choosing what to accept.

The endorsements which make it to my profile are accurate.

Unless I'm unique, I'd expect the resulting graph of accepted endorsements to be reasonably useful.


Well the classic example of garbage data is all recruiters getting endorsed for the two dozen technologies they are headhunting for.


I have a similar problem: I am endorsed for skills that I do claim on my profile by people whose endorsement I do not want. You can remove individual endorsements without removing the skill itself. Here are the instructions a friend of mine found for this:

Login to LinkedIn; Hover over "Profile" and click on "Edit Profile"; Scroll down to "Skills & Expertise"; Click on "Edit"; Click on “Manage Endorsements”. It is not highlighted but it will accept a click when you hover.; Click on the skill where you want to remove endorsers and then uncheck any endorser you want to remove.; When you’re done, click on “Save”;


Following the same procedure, you can also choose not to display your endorsements in one shot: rather than click "Manage Endorsements" instead click the down-arrow next to "Display your endorsements" and choose "No, do not show my endorsements."


One of my friends had everyone endorse him for "knitting" and "problem gambling"... The fact that these are even options is laughable.


My friends colluded to endorse me as 'Mexican.' I'm not Mexican.


Mexican ... ? I don't even ... only idea I have is that it's related to food.


My coworker's top endorsement is "Pizza" because of me and some office shenanigans.


Before I closed my account I endorsed my roommate for Alternative Medicine and Chromotherapy. I don't believe it's still there.


We actually had an "endorsement war" between my coworkers last week.

Some of the results: Memes, Poetry, Salads (ten endorsements!), Tree Identification, Punk, Pickles (not to be confused with Cucumber), Shampoo, Extortion, Glitter Tattoos.


Murder


Pasteurisation, Zumba


I recently just bailed on Linkedin. I was getting zero utility from it, and didn't see any possible future where I would. I ache to pull the trigger on Facebook as well, but the longer I wait the more entrenched it becomes for my family.

EDIT: removed superfluous "the".


I received a phone call at work from someone trying to sell JRebel, after all the recruiters that call through to the office(doesn't look good) I had to hide my linkedin profile.


After the password mishap I deleted mine.


Drop the "the".


A former coworker of mine endorsed me for, among things I actually do know, "lubrication", "flexibility" and "potatoes".

It took me a good while to notice and another good while to stop laughing. Of course a tiny bit less observation on my part could have published that to my actual profile.


I was (friendly) trolling a colleague who's very entrenched into Java World. The troll started as a genuine attempt to suggest a new tech he'd like; Scala. Turned out he wasn't interested at all, but the gag kept rolling about him learning Scala.

I got the idea that I could get a bunch of people to go and endorse him for Scala on LinkedIn. The (far fetched) goal being that he'd inadvertently accept the endorsement and end up returning in the top results for local Scala experts.

So I went and endorsed him for that. He didn't fall for it. However I also endorsed other colleagues. One of them caught on the troll and endorsed me back for 'Genocide' and a bunch of atrocities.

Maybe people are just trolls like I am and endorse OP for the sake of lulz.


The whole endorsement scam completely destroyed my trust in LinkedIn. I find that they are out soliciting endorsements on my behalf from my professional network without my knowledge to be a heinous misrepresentation and a horrible breach of trust. I haven't logged in there in more than a year.


I endorse anyone who mentions these silly things to me for "Natural Horsemanship".


My favorite was the paired endorsements "Free" "Colonoscopy".


I believe this should be called "Endorsement Bombing".


I recommended my friends endorse me in Falconry


I have my profile setup for endorsements in Milking Cats, Fridge Shelves, and Electric Eels. I did this as soon as I realised how dumb this whole endorsements thing was getting.


New hobby: searching LinkedIn for developers that work at LinkedIn and endorsing them for crazy stuff.


Damn, and I JUST deleted my account this morning.


I turned off the ability for endorsements to automatically appear on my LinkedIn profile. Instead, I highlight the skills I want to highlight.

The fact is your endorsements are going to trail your most recent skills by years in most cases, and so unless you've been doing the same thing year in and year out, endorsements present a distorted picture of your overall skill set.

This is especially true in technology, where your most recent skills are generally your most valuable ones.


How do you turn it off?


You disable endorsements from appearing on your profile: http://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/33198

What you can't do is prevent getting endorsements in the first place. LinkedIn will not let you disable receiving endorsements.


Could someone confirm that this will still keep my existing endorsements just in case I want to show them again later?


Yes your endorsements are always there. You will continue receiving endorsements too. They just won't be displayed if you "disable" them.


Thanks.


Yeah, I just ignore them.


Before I became a developer I was a banquet manager and I've had numerous colleagues from my former career endorse me for software skills they can't possibly know I have. Though I do get a chuckle when one endorses me for 'Java' as I always imagine them thinking "yeah, he knew a lot about coffee"

As presently implemented the endorsement system is rather pointless, but I do think there's some potential for improvement in making it more meaningful. Perhaps make it more like the recommendation system where you'd be required to actually write something instead of just clicking a button.


They are the Facebook "Like" button for your career, and equally valuable.


I think the problem is that LinkedIn makes it too easy and the incentives are out of whack. LinkedIn figures out what you may be good at, and then presents it as a button to all your contacts. Brain dead simple. That's fine, but the problem is that people are incentivized to endorse you, either because they may think it's something nice they can do for you (and doesn't hurt them and takes no effort), or because they may be looking for reciprocity. It's just a terrible system.


I joined Linked In 3 months ago. Personally I did it as I was starting a new company and wanted to "discover" this magical sales and marketing tool I've been disappointed by the noise, and general low level of barrier to entry on most things. The fact that endorsements are so easy, or that making a good profile, filled with content look attractive decreases the value of it as a tool. I dislike Linked In, I wish I hadn't joined it.


It's gotten pretty bad now but it wasn't always that way. I think I've had an account for 10? years. It used to be the professional Facebook, so everyone joined. It wasn't as spammy as it was now and I definitely used it to keep in touch with people that I used to work with and to research jobs. I guess they are trying to be the actual Facebook now... I really only check it once every month or two in order to delete invites from recruiters. It's not a social destination, but it seems like they want people to log in every day. Bleah.

I already maintain a personal and a work facebook account (for example to add someone as a facebook app developer on an app you own you have to be friends with them, but I don't want to be "friends" with all my co-workers). There's not much you can do about linked in at this point since it's ubiquitous. I just try to avoid the spammy bits.


I deliberately, and almost ruthlessly enough, limit my LinkedIn connections to people I've worked with closely enough to evaluate each other. I really want it to be a career resource. The set of endorsements under the system as currently implemented, bears little correspondence with what those people would say about me if you asked them. This makes the data, and LinkedIn itself, less useful.


I recently removed fully 1/3 of my connections. They were older connections that didn't have much bearing on my career as it exists today.



Here is what I would guess LinkedIn must have been thinking: Nearly everybody boasts about their achievements in their profiles and CVs, making it hard for readers to tell high performers apart from low performers. So what could be a better way than to have others vouch for people </ironical>? This is very similar to older days of websites trying to enhance their rankings by hook or crook, and Google measuring a website's relevance by how many other websites link to it (ultimately leading to the PageRank algorithm).

Unfortunately, this has not worked the way they may have intended. Any widespread data-oriented company has to work hard to keep noise at low levels. A means probably intended to reduce the noise in this case has become a source of noise rather.


missing opening tag on line 0 +1 parsing skill


From the linked page comments: "Marla Collins Jun 21 at 04:50 PM I personally think this is an intentional glitch LI has implemented to try and assimilate a face book type of social interaction. I can tell you that the people who have allegedly endorsed me have done nothing of the kind any more than I have gone to thier profile and endorsed them after years of not really interacting with them on LI. This is a violation of our trust and is turning LI into just another annoying social networking site. "

Emphasis mine. If this is true, this is even worse than the spammy "would you like to endorse?" stuff.


I got one endorsement for Ruby (I have it in my profile that I am learning) despite not listing it as a skill, and I'm now occasionally getting messages from recruiters.


If you're relying on linkedin to actually get a good job (except maybe for people just getting there first entry level job) then you need all the help you can get...


The truth is, Does it really matter. People look at your skills or skills people think you're good at, and it allows you more breadth and job opportunities.


People love to hate the endorsement system, but I have found that while I get endorsements from people who clearly aren't qualified to asses my skills, it still ends up such that my most-endorsed skills are actually fairly close to reality. As a recruiter you'd be foolish to use this at face value, but for doing a rough search to narrow down candidates, I don't think it's way off.


Due to the way LinkedIn asks people about endorsing others, endorsers are usually people who are very kind to you, like your mom, your close friends, relatives.


Sure, there's a lot of noise in there. What I mean is that given enough endorsements, you kind of tend to get most endorsements in the skills you actually work with. It does not say much about how well you perform in those, but for searching out potential candidates, I imagine that it's fairly accurate.


"Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills." - Napoleon Dynamite


Please please please someone endorse me for "nunchuck skills"


Linked-in is a bit like craigslist in that it has huge network effects, lots of flaws and is hard to attack.

Still, I believe that there is a window of opportunity for a determined group to disrupt linked in in much the same way that Google attacked Altavista, by offering substantially better quality combined with a different business model.


having spent some time during linkedin boom in a company that separates their developers as frontend vs backend (which is moronic), i'm now labeled as frontend just because that was what i was doing during said boom.

gladly my linkedin profile is as useless as my gplus one (which i have to have to comment on youtube kitten videos)


Linkedin sent an invite to every person in my gmail account, hundreds of people, and was then spammed with pages of people accepting my friend request. I had no intention to do this, it was from a button that said "sign in with your gmail" that I must have clicked because I thought I wasn't signed in.


I think it's great! I've got a dozen recommendations for PPC if I ever decide to learn it.

Alright, the system's a joke.


How to fix endorsements - rather than asking if someone has a skill, take two people in your circle claiming the same skill and ask who's more competent at that. Repeat this for all people in your circle with that skill and you can bubble sort people into who's best in your eyes. Next take those people's standing within their respective circles, perhaps weighted by some measure (e.g. people working in the same field's opinion counts more) and you start to get a good idea of how people compare to one another for the skills you're interested in. Even if those people don't have anyone in common you can use the 6 degrees of separation to use their connections' connections to approximate their standing compared to one another.


(of course, this assumes that you wish endorsements to have meaning; if you're just using it to increase user engagement with your site the current method works fine - until people get fed up with putting in redundant effort).


I've been actually trying to upgrade my skills as a software developer. I am currently a level 5 Wizard.

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/justin-nash/26/7aa/163


I just added "King of England" to my skills... I'm waiting to see how long it takes somebody to endorse me for that.

In hindsight, I should have added something like "TARDIS Repair" or "n-dimensional Temporal Hypergeography". :-)


I am being endorsed for technologies that people in other departments think I use (which I've often not touched), while corporate management are busy endorsing each other for "Entrepreneurship." :)

My most endorsed skills I have not used for years.



Is DHH interested in Rails opportunities?

https://gist.github.com/dhh/1285068


Push-button endorsement systems are meaningless without a corresponding downvote mechanism. There have to be both sides of the coin, or else you get nothing but meaningless and empty results.

Of course, if you had more of a "karma" style system, you'd have to implement a way to mitigate abuses of the downvote mechanism. But I feel like that's an easier task than trying to derive meaning from endorsements that cost the endorser nothing, and hence mean nothing.

If the stakes aren't real, the results aren't real.


> Push-button endorsement systems are meaningless without a corresponding downvote mechanism. There have to be both sides of the coin, or else you get nothing but meaningless and empty results.

Those are not the only techniques available. If you look at how Google's PageRank works, a link is like an endorsement, but there's no downvoting possible.


Good point. There's probably a better way to do it than downvotes (also, now that I think about it, who's ever going to downvote someone else on LinkedIn?).


I'm primarily "endorsed" for HTML5 and jQuery. While I'm good at those, they're neither impressive to list, nor are they my core competency.

So I consider the whole thing a joke and endorse people for the most ridiculous things I can. Here are some of my favorites: footprints, sandwiches, trees, safety, anger, hunger, eating, money, typing, girls night, walking, Goal-oriented individual with strong leadership capabilities, MS-DOS.


In my area linkedin is quite important. However, I have been frustrated with their service for a while now.

One thing I really hate is that every change to my profile propagates to my whole network and to the headhunters. I am ok with spamming the headhunters, but I feel very weird having my friends receiving updates like this from me. Sometimes you are just keeping a profile updated, you are not getting promotions or something worth noting.


You can turn off broadcast notifications in your settings.


In all seriousness though, I think it's a UI change they did. It didn't seem to be this bad until lately. I've noticed whenever you login it asks you with a one click button if you want to endorse these people for these skills, randomly.

I think their goal was to create more 'value' in their product but in fact made it less reliable and therefore less 'valuable'.


For some reason, everyone endorses me for SEO, when that is the really the only type of online marketing I've never done.


That is the incidental value in the system. You get to see what people think you do for a living.


If you were to read my profile and see my endorsements, you would think I am the master of all that is, ever was and ever will be in software configuration management using IBM ClearCase. I half-jokingly thought that my former workplace mandated everyone to endorse someone they worked with in the past for this particular skill.


A related issue I have is that they limit the number of skills to 50. What are included in "skills" these days are sometimes experience with very specific tools here and there. For a multidisciplinary person like me, I am tired of prioritizing what to keep and what not to within this limit of 50.


LinkedIn suggested that one of my friends should be endorsed for 'pregnancy'. Well, I couldn't resist that suggestion so I went for it.

I called him up the next day and we both laughed about it. He then added it to his profile. Since then he's been seconded on that skill by somebody else, too.


What they ought to do is to give a different notation for being endorsed by someone else with the same skill.


I would very much like for someone to explain to me what the point of LinkedIn really is. I just don't get it. Aside from your colloquial spamming, stupid recommendations and business "contacts", I really fail to see who benefits from that platform aside from the investors.


I remember I once setup a js script which ran every 5 seconds and clicked the 'endorse-all' button. In this way within 30-45 minutes I endorsed many of my friends of skills which they don't even know.

Was good return for me as many returned back favor thinking I spent time for them.


Perhaps LinkedIn will get the message when everyone endorses each other for King of France.


I've noticed that people tend to endorse each other for not-so-cutting-edge technologies as a joke.

"You have endorsed Coworker for SVN, Java and XSLT"

Where I work, I don't think a week has gone by without this happening. It's all in good fun. :)


I got endorsed for Javascript by one of my undergrad professors that teaching business communication...among other equally as WTF endorsements.

I always sorta thought that LI was randomly generating these things somehow.


Can I just delete my LinkedIn account without performing professional suicide? It's probably out of date, and I use it for less than 5% of what's actually going on there.


I have a friend who endorses people for "Bikini Waxing".


I find it odd when people I don't know but I must've hit accept on their LinkedIn request at some point endorse me for stuff. Smh


One of the most awesome skills I regularly get ensorsed for is "general awesomeness" I believe there is not even a filter on it


I wrote a chrome extension for linkedin that (among other things) deletes endorsements from the dom of any profile page


That's a good idea, linkedin! I should endorse few of my competitors for midnight poll dancing or something ...


Using A/B testing to strip away bad requirements?


People endorse me for stuff they don't really know that I'm good at... I find that oddly uncomfortable.


whenever i received an endorsement for a certain skill from someone who has never seen me perform that skill i quickly remove it. recently however, after trying to remove endorsements several times, they still appear on my profile. i've since given up on linkedin for not providing any integrity.


I've never updated my skill set on LinkedIn. Don't see any value to it. And yet some of my friends who have no idea what I'm working on endorsed me for random programming skill set. There should be a credibility factor when someone endorses you. Say the person endorsing you for skill set x should have been endorsed for that skill set x at least n times before being judged credible. Right now, it's just a "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" function.


I just realized I've been recently endorsed for "fly fishing" haha. That system is quite a joke.


I tried to endorse my friend for Defense Against the Dark Arts. Didn't work. Useless I tell you.


Yes! I have people who I've never worked with endorse me. The endorsement thing should stop.


I've gotten four endorsements for 'Butter', none for 'Balls' so far.


Somebody please endorse me with the "Dismissive of Linkedin Endorsements" skill...


My brother-in-law (an insurance salesman) endorsed me for XML. There'ya'go.


linkedin guys are either spammers or they just don't know how to build the "email notification preference" thingy. I suspect they keep this feature broken by design...


i reckon linked in should have mandatory comments on an endorsement to explain why or what experience that endorser had regarding your skill.


linked in got really weird when it started suggesting to people to endorse people.


Good idea executed terribly.


Linkedin sucks.


LinkedIn has become effectively useless as an actual talent/hiring tool, at least in my area, though it remains a pretty decent contacts tool.

The recommendation system is just as fictitious as the endoresements: it has been my experience that many recommendations are quid pro quo and have no legitimacy. Many come in a circular fashion so when assessing talent you need to walk through each of the players trying to figure out what their real motivation was.

I've watched the sausage being made. I remember once when we had to choose a team member to punt at one shop I worked, and there was universal agreement on the target, the team long having grievances about their productivity, poor quality product, etc. The deed gets done, and over the next week I see a several of my peers, including his highly critical direct manager (who hands out absurd recommendations like candy), author lengthy, lauding recommendations for this person. They were trying to trade in a recommendation to assuage their guilt, or for future considerations in return. This seemed incredible to me because it should be professionally damaging to do something like that, but in the real world it simply isn't: There are no consequences or downsides to handing out ridiculous endorsements and fictional recommendations.




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