(Note: The following is intended to be a humorous consideration of something that I’ve wondered about for a bit. Please don’t think I’m being ungrateful for the recommendations or kind words I’ve received through LinkedIn. Really, they’ve been terrific to receive. I’m not kidding. Don’t stop. Please. Now you can endorse me for being funny.)
The professional social media site, LinkedIn, introduced a new feature a few months ago that allows you to “endorse” others in your network for their skills, abilities and all-round good looks. It is a rather puzzling feature whose etiquette seems to be evolving; at least it is for me (puzzling and evolving).
If I am endorsed by another member, am I expected/required to send a “thank you” note? Will a LinkedIn email suffice or do I have to do it the old fashioned way and text the person my appreciation?
Are you expected to actually know about the skill/ability of the other person you are endorsing or can you just look at the headshot and say to yourself “She/he looks like she/he would be pretty good at leadership/nonprofits/horseshoes”?
Over the last couple of months, I’ve been endorsed (appropriately of course), for my skills at photography, portrait photography, digital photography, landscape photography, photo editing, PhotoShop, event photography, blogging, poetry, networking, community outreach, fine art, editing, nonprofits and non-profits, writing and creative writing, statistics, art, WordPress, leadership, conferences, publications, photojournalism, and research.
Now I include this list not because I’m bragging but because I’ve also been endorsed for pruning, sushi, geocaching, bike repair, hat-making, winter driving and spelunking. To my knowledge, I’ve never spelunked in my life, although there was that one time in the ‘60s… well, that’s another story and I’m pretty sure the statute of limitations has run out.
The point is (you were wondering when/if I’d get to it), endorsements seem to come willy-nilly (I have not yet been endorsed for willy-nillying, although I expect that any day now) from people I like and admire, but also from people I haven’t seen in decades and who seem to remember me from high school when my major skill was marching in a straight line, most of the time.
In looking at the things I’ve been endorsed for and the things that I am tempted to endorse others for, I wonder if there isn’t a secret hierarchy of endorsements? For example, is being endorsed for “communications” worth two endorsements for “able to talk without spitting?” Does “leadership” trump “knows which way the parade is going?” Is “writing” higher on the scale than “spells good?” I suspect Maslow had something to do with the algorithm that runs this part of the site.
Sometimes I wonder if endorsements on LinkedIn are just an expression of desperation/low self-esteem on the part of the endorser, the high-tech equivalent of “fishing for a compliment.” No, that’s what FaceBook is for. Come to think of it, I’ve never been endorsed, nor have I endorsed anyone for “high self-esteem.” Seems like that would be one of the first things we should endorse each other for. Along with spelunking.