These are not the Linkedin interactions you’re looking for: a guest post from Nic Hulting

Nic Huting posted a great tweet the other day that accurately (at least in my mind) outlined the hierarchy of interactions on LinkedIn. I asked him to elaborate on those thoughts in a guest post, and he was kind enough to oblige. Here are his thoughts.

Have you ever been endorsed by someone on Linkedin? Well, chances are if you’re on Linkedin, this has happened. On numerous occasions. Endorsements are flying around faster and more recklessly than Candy Crush requests on Facebook. Do skill endorsements matter to you/make you feel good? Does it matter that Michael Bluth endorsed your skills in ‘(Mr.) Manager?’ Does it matter to you that Walter White endorsed your skills in ‘Chemistry?’

Honestly, I don’t (really) care about endorsements. It may sound crass, unappreciative and abrasive, but there is a reason why I don’t care. Here’s why: They are created in a flash by a system, an algorithm. Essentially the software nudges its users and says: “Hey. Don’t you think Guy A deserves an endorsement for Content Strategy? Guy A is clearly using the Internet so he must know what Content Strategy is, right? Go ahead, do it. It will make you feel good. Doooo it.” – Linkedin algorithm (aka the skill pusher man).

My biggest gripe with this system is that no real thought goes into the endorsement(s) of a fellow Linkedin user. I dare say, hardly none whatsoever. It’s a click. It is a ‘nudgy,’ reactive way of attributing a (oftentimes random) skill to someone we may not know that much about.

If you really want to show appreciation of a fellow peer, co-worker or colleague, write them a recommendation. Recommendations are great, because there is a thought process behind them. There’s an actual connection behind them, an actual relationship. You have to have a prior/existing relationship of interaction(s) with Gal B in order to write a recommendation. On the flip side; I can endorse anyone for anything as long as they’re a connection of mine.

So, here’s my take on the relevance of the existing ways we can interact on Linkedin (as it pertains to the value {I} attribute them; 1 being highest, 5 being lowest):

  1. Recommendations

    • Require time commitment and knowledge of connection you are recommending. Almost as good as a word-of-mouth referral. Almost.
  2. Post Comment

    • Taking your time to comment on someone else’s post shows interest and (possibly) an existing relationship with connection.
  3. Share Comment

    • Is not just a better way of endorsing a connection’s viewpoint, but it’s also a nod that states that you agree/disagree enough to share it with your (trusted) circle of connections.
  4. Like Comment

    • A like is a like is a like. It’s an affirmation of agreed acknowledgement. Nothing more, nothing less.
  5. Endorsements

    • Reactive. Forced. Ambiguous. Low value. The easy way to show appreciation.

I’m not going to say I don’t enjoy when someone I appreciate endorses my skills, but all I can think about when that happens is that I wish I would get a recommendation instead… (after all, it’s all about me, right?)

If you agree, or disagree, with me head over to Linkedin, connect with me, and maybe in the near future we will know each other well enough that we will recommend each other (sounds kind of x-rated).

If you decide to send me an endorsement, please let it be in the skill of “Linkedin endorsement debunker.”

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One thought on “These are not the Linkedin interactions you’re looking for: a guest post from Nic Hulting

  1. Guest Blog | niclashulting:

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