On being endorsed on LinkedIn

(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.

8 thoughts on “On being endorsed on LinkedIn

    • Thanks for the “endorsement” (!). I know that I take “liking” something seriously; I don’t just do it automatically, whether it’s on Facebook or WordPress, but I also know that some people don’t even think about it when they do it. And some people do it as a reciprocal thing: you “liked” me, so I feel obligated to like you (I’m talking about the generic, universal “you” not you you, but you know that). Social media is a whole new world with lots of as-yet unknown standards of behavior. We are all feeling our way through this stuff. I’ve enjoyed your photography, so when I “like” it, I really like it. You have a wonderful eye for structure and viewpoint. I will also say that it seems to me that you have something of a Dada-ish approach to some subjects, which really appeals to me. Looking forward to more of your work. Like!

    • I just wrote a reply, but I think something went horribly wrong when I tried to post it (probably sunspots; surely not something I did). If it doesn’t appear, I’ll try to recreate it. The gist was “thanks”; I don’t “like” something if I don’t like it; I enjoy your photography… I really do like it.

  1. Actually Charles I had been thinking on making public my position with respect to liking on WordPress…along the lines of what you’ve so brilliantly covered in your post…maybe a plea and a pledge ‘only like something if you like it and know that I only like something if I like it ‘. Rest assured, but you’re a happy balanced man that needs no reassurance, that my appreciation of your posts – text or photos – is sincere . This particular post made my day as the saying goes;mind, LinkedIn is a professional networking site and’ you rub my back and I’ll rub yours’ is bound to be a feature …
    I have little formal education in the arts and wouldn’t know where to begin commenting on your photos or texts , so allow me to keep on liking what I like ! Thanks again for going that extra length on putting words on your likes….I am working my way to becoming able to do the same. I too look forward to your future posts.

  2. Christophe, you are quite right: there is an implied reciprocity on LinkedIn that I’m finally catching on to. It had me stumped for a while. Why are these people endorsing me for things they couldn’t possibly have any first-hand knowledge of? LinkedIn makes it so easy with that pop-up box that asks, “Does Sally know about tole-painting?” Well, she must since it’s right there, so sure, I’ll endorse her for that. Sometimes, my cynical side takes over, when I should just say, “Thanks, everyone!”

    I still haven’t figured out how WordPress works, though. I do have a few people who follow my blog (what’s that phrase, something about both hands?), but I get these messages that say so-and-so thought my post was terrific and when I look at the link, it’s someone in Singapore who also has a blog, about deep-sea fishing. Why are they liking my blog? How did they find it? That part of the process is still perplexing.

    I’m surprised that you say you have little formal arts education. Looking at your photos would lead me to believe that you had studied photography; your technique is terrific and you have a very distinctive style. Of course, I can’t think of any of the really great photographers who learned their craft in a college or university course, so what you do must just come naturally.

    It’s funny: I didn’t train to be a photographer or a writer, either, but retirement has given me time to use the creative side of my brain and to really look at the photos of the masters to see what they did with their talent. Life is certainly an odd journey and I’m enjoying the trip


  3. Nice reading about you

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Be in touch. Browse through the category sections, I feel you may find something of your interest.

  4. Re: LinkedIn endorsements – I was recently endorsed by someone who I think was my first wife’s second husband. At least that’s what my daughter says.

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