Social networks come and go, proving themselves useful (or not) in various areas of our lives. i know i can count on Facebook to tell me all about what that girl i knew in sixth grade is knitting for her newborn. Twitter is where i can crack wise to three thousand people i met at various game conferences, and get into protracted public battles about freedom of expression while quoting Saturday morning cartoons from the 80’s and retweeting articles written by people who are smarter than me. These two networks have replaced MSN Messenger and Fark, which in turn replaced usenet and irc.
(which in turn replaced talking to someone in the face)
The one “current-gen” social network i can’t quite figure out what to do with is LinkedIn. Whenever i get an email saying “So-and-So wants to connect with you on LinkedIn”, it’s usually someone i sorta know or someone i worked with ten years ago, and i’m not sure about the ramifications of clicking that “Accept” button, so i often don’t. If we connect, does that mean i’m vouching for that person’s professional skills? As someone who’s not particularly interested in building a resume and getting hired, what value does the network hold for me?
i used to find value in LinkedIn’s groups – essentially message boards populated with professionals sharing a common interest – until aggressive marketers and scammers discovered them, and every other message tried sell me boner pills. LinkedIn has been a write-off to me for a number of years now. i only engage with the site about once a month, to begrudgingly approve the handful of accumulated connection requests.
Tomfoolery Is My Friend
A new feature on LinkedIn is called one-click endorsements. These are like tags for a person’s profile, much like Klout, that enables people to affirm each others’ skills. It’s a welcome feature; prior to one-click endorsements, endorsements on LinkedIn started with an awkward “Will you endorse me?” invite, which the recipient had to answer by writing a little blurb on how useful or amazing the requester is.
One-click endorsements are simple. LinkedIn asks “Does this guy know about welding?” And you think “yeah … come to think of it, he DOES know about welding”. So you click the “I guess so” button, and voila – you’ve endorsed this guy as a welder.
This single feature has renewed my interest in LinkeIn – not because i can lazily provide someone a professional pick-me-up, but because i can creatively defile someone’s profile with nefarious endorsements.
Here’s a list of unflattering recommendations i’ve been able to cook up with LinkedIn’s new system so far:
Mo, we hardly knew ye.
By applying the right amount of mischief to LinkedIn’s new one-click endorsements, the net’s most boring social networking site now has a special place in my heart. If you manage to find any amusing endorsements that are already in the system, don’t be selfish – please share them in the comments section below.