This blog’s readers know I’m not a fan on LinkedIn Endorsements. My biggest problem with Endorsements is the degree to which they compete with and thereby marginalize one of my favorite LinkedIn features: Recommendations. My ultimate concern is that LinkedIn will ultimately phase out Recommendations (which it can’t exploit since there’s no easy way to mine the “data” they include) in favor of Endorsements (which are easy to quantify and therefore easier to exploit).
Well, it looks like LinkedIn is hammering another nail in Recommendations’ coffin. Today, my news feed included this: item “[Person A] has recommended [Person B].” What’s so bad about that? Well, heretofore, of preview of the body of the Recommendation would be included in the news feed item, making it more substantive and more likely to be seen/read. Now it appears that those previews are being excluded. This change–if in fact it is a change and not a temporary glitch–means that Recommendations have equal weight to Endorsements in the news feed. Which makes them less valuable. Which perpetuates the degree to which they’re lesser used. Which makes it a little more tempting to phase them out.
I hope I’m reading too much into this change, but I think it’s at least a step in the wrong direction. If you agree, why not go and make a Recommendation of a deserving person in your LinkedIn network? Maybe that will help ensure that they live on a little longer and continue to co-exist with Endorsements. After all, just because your Recommendation is less likely to be seen doesn’t mean the person you give it to deserves it any less.