the new linkedin “recommendation” or “like”?

A few weeks ago, I started getting email notices from LinkedIn that some people had endorsed me. A lot of people. I have received LinkedIn endorsements before (and thank you) but clearly something was up.

If you have been on LinkedIn at all, you’ve probably seen or more likely received recommendations or endorsements from people who want to publicly compliment you on the work you do or have done for them. They would write something professionally kind, note three things that you excel at and then you would receive the notification. It’s a lot like a personal reference with someone writing it but with LinkedIn, you’d have the opportunity to approve, request and amendment and publish.

But I was suddenly getting so many! Had I gone viral? What did I do?

Well it seems that LinkedIn, bowing to the Facebook “Like” phenomenon, had changed from the more thoughtful recommendations of old to a quick hit kind of “like” button.

Let me be clear–I am completely and utterly grateful for anyone who would take time out of their day in even a superficial social media way to say something nice about me. And I am glad to do the same for others who are deserving (oh yes, I’ve had people actually ask me to endorse them on LinkedIn in the old format–that was a unique situation at times).

But as grateful as I am (and I am) I liked the old LinkedIn recommendation system better. And it’s truly not because I don’t like change.

It took more time and thought for someone to write out a LinkedIn recommendation in the old format and so to me, what was written about me and what I read on other people’s pages carried more weight and was more important. It had a bit of gravitas.

Now, it seems to me to be just a bit frivolous and not as professional. And to me, LinkedIn’s point of difference versus any other social media channel was its professionalism. The people at Sambla seem to agree, you can read their post in Swedish which essentially says the same thing here.

What do you think? Am I overthinking this or were you thinking the same thing?

8 Responses to “the new linkedin “recommendation” or “like”?”

  1. I agree; the old system was better. The additional time and thought required added a level of legitimacy to me.

  2. The “old system” is still available.
    The new process is an interesting experiment, but it’s too easy to endorse casually or even by accident. (Yikes!) I don’t think it is a plus.

  3. I’m flattered by all these endorsements, but I do have my reservations about the system. Some of my endorsers have never worked with me, they’ve never seen me edit or take directions, and I doubt that some have even heard my demos.

    These recommendations are only worth something if they’re based or real life experience, and they’re not prompted by “you rub my back and I’ll rub yours”.

    The quality of the feedback totally depends on the quality of the source.

    Satisfied clients are my best credentials.

  4. In the instant gratification culture that we’ve created for ourselves, I must say that I’m not surprised in the least that LinkedIn has changed to this new quick click system. That said, there’s something much more personal about a carefully thought out and crafted written endorsement. I think there is more weight behind them, as far as offering a true statement to an individuals skill and/or services.

    However, I’m also honoured each time anyone endorses my work, regardless of how that endorsement takes shape.

    As long as my clients are happy that’s what matters most to me.

  5. I know Marc, I think with the popularity of the ‘Like’ button, LinkedIn had to do something.

    It just doesn’t carry the weight with me either of their old style.

    Best always,

  6. I’ll tell you an interesting experience on the LinkedIn quick hit recommendations, Paul. I signed in, saw a name I knew and for like 15 minutes i got into a zone of recommending people…all I knew, I all believed to be worthy recommendations.

    But suddenly, it started to feel like i was playing the penny slots at the casino…I could not stop hitting that darn button!

    Best always,
    – Peter

  7. See Jane, thank goodness YOU’RE paying attention! 🙂

    Best always,
    – Peter

  8. Agreed Josh, thanks!

    Best always,
    – Peter