LinkedIn Endorsements – what do they really tell us?

I’ve always been a bit on the fence when it comes to social media endorsements for a number of reasons.

  • There is limited context behind them. Have you genuinely demonstrated a particular skill and to what level?
  • Its not clear if the person giving the endorsement is really qualified to give it. Have they experienced your skill first hand, or just heard about it?
  • Is it a genuine endorsement or just a case of you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours?
  • In general the value of something is directly proportional to its cost. Since endorsements are free and can be indiscriminately given away, what’s their value?

Recently I’ve been starting to come around to the value of endorsements; not because they are a reliable indicator of someone’s expertise, but because (in high enough volumes) they do give you a sense of what someone is interested in, works on, or at least what they would like to be recognized for. That in and of itself is a rather useful data point for an analytics engine.

So I take back all the bad things I said about endorsements :-) As long as you aren’t relying on them for your expertise algorithm, they are actually kind of useful. And on that note I wrap up my week, and to my friends & colleagues in the United States “Have a great holiday weekend”.

2 Comments to “LinkedIn Endorsements – what do they really tell us?”

  1. Marie. I’ve come around to the same view. Especially since people have started endorsing me (consistently) on different things than I would have chosen. It goes to show that your brand is not how you see yourself, but how others do.


  2. That’s a really good point, “its not how you see yourself, but how others see you”. Some interesting analytics could definitely be applied there in terms of measuring and inferring something from the delta :)


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