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LinkedIn Endorsements: Almost Extinct?
By: Maryann Fabian
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Some call it the lazy man’s way of giving someone a recommendation without having to actually take the time to write something. Others call it the equivalent of a poke (do those still happen?) or “liking” your friend’s update about her visit to the dentist on Facebook. Love them or hate them, there are now predictions that the controversial feature of endorsements will go away by the end of this year.

Did you know that almost 300,000 people have been endorsed for wine? (That’s wine, not whine.) It’s easy to see why. The pop-up hits you as soon as you log in. “Does Bob know wine?” Why yes, you’re kinda-sorta sure he does. So you just click “yes” without giving it a second thought because it seems like the polite thing to do. Over a billion endorsements later, what does it really mean? Given a preference, there’s no doubt that people would rather have a glowing recommendation from you. So when you just don't care enough to send the very best, do we call this a pseudo-reference or a warm fuzzy? One person who had been out of work for a while said that it gave her a nice boost whenever she received one, so maybe that's enough reason to do it. Even though MacWorld says the skills you add will attract the attention of recruiters, they say not so much. The most connected woman on LinkedIn, Stacy Zapar, admits that “so many people are skeptical” of the feature that she doesn’t “put a ton of stock” in it and prefers to call it “the cherry on top.”

Since, for now, you can’t turn off this feature, there are other options to enhance your experience. If you want more endorsements, Michael Delgado has tips. Or if it’s proper etiquette you’re after, try looking here. And if you just want to mess with your professional connections, try this list from Mashable.

The topic of endorsements didn’t come up in LinkedIn’s presentation at the Mobile Ignition conference in San Francisco on Wednesday. But several sites, such as Inc. and Business Insider are now saying endorsements will be extinct soon. Mostly because too many people are questioning their value.
 
As a side note, the world’s oldest website turned 28 last week. It belongs to symbolics.com. It was launched on March 15, 1985 by the Symbolics computer company out of Massachusetts. Unfortunately, the company didn’t last long enough to enjoy the honor (not sure there’s an actual award for it anyway). A domain-registering site bought it and now, at least, maintains a “memory lane” to mark the occasion. If you’re feeling nostalgic, stop by. Oh, and endorse me on LinkedIn while you’re at it.


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About the Author
Maryann Fabian is a copywriter who has crafted the voice of some of this country's best brands.
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