Hey, remember me? If so, my condolences. If not, sorry you get to meet me now. :P
I’ve just realized that over the last, I dunno… year? I’ve been complaining about something, and nothing’s changed. Perhaps I’m complaining to the wrong folks. …Actually, I’ve just been complaining to maybe two or three folks.
Anyway, a solid year of bitching sounds to me like a great indication that I have a blog post.
Years ago I joined LinkedIn and thought it was a pretty cool place to showcase my skills. That’s what it’s for, right? An online portfolio / resume, I thought. These days there are groups, and discussions, and articles, etc… Not such a bad thing to have on a site dedicated to professionals, and what not.
Not sure when, but relatively recently they added “Endorsements”. On the surface it’s a tool for you to see how many people will vouch for the skills claimed by the person whose profile you’re looking at. If Captain Von Dingwall says he can hoist a mizen-mast (or whatever) it’s a skill, and Chippy Fitzslapfart can “endorse” it, basically saying “Yep, Capt’n hoists my mizen-mast a few times a day. He’s a pro”.
Over time, perhaps a dozen or so deck swabbers will jog in and endorse the good Captain’s ship-related skills. What better way to judge a person’s skills than by the word of his peers, right?
That’s on the surface.
Beneath the surface, it’s a fucking gimmick. You see, you log into your profile to add a line about your co-ed naked yoga ball class, and at the top there’s a pile of pictures. These pictures are of some folks in your connections list, and it says “Does Chad Nippleflash know about basket weaving? Endorse here!” and “Does Billy Bag-o-donuts know about pothole digging? Endorse here!” and so on… OR! You can make the whole fucking window go away, by clicking “Endorse all!” …and you do cause it’s easy! And it goes away, and now you’re about your business again!
Now, let’s say I’m Chad Nippleflash. Now, I get an email saying “Phil McCrackin has endorsed you!” and I think, “Gee, I haven’t seen Phil in four years, and when we worked together we were refurbishing battery operated battery rechargers, that only recharge their own batteries… He’s never even seen me weave a basket…” But you think the best, and say “Well, that was pretty nice of him, guess he’s just trying to help me out.”
But no, that bastard was just trying to get into his own business. He didn’t go and seek your page out to do me a good deed, he clicked the “Get this shit the fuck outta my face” button.
So now, if you look at my LinkedIn account, you’ll see that 8 people think I’m great with “Hardware”. …nuts and bolts? Washers? Faucets?
Here’s another thing… I never added these things. For example, I haven’t updated my profile now for at least four years, cause I really don’t need to. I have a good job, I’m not exactly networking (socially I mean… Not talking about plugging wires into switches, which 12 people think I’m awesome at) but yet, “Windows 7” is a skill. And so is “VMWare”, which I’ve used once, was completely out of my element with, and hated… But yet, this bozo (who I helped to get fired some years ago, by the way…) thinks I’m a master of.
It’s fucking useless! Not only are people who I haven’t seen in over ten years and never worked with vouching for my skills, but somehow they’re adding skills they don’t even know if I have, because they can’t stand to have this “Endorse All” button floating in their faces!!
And what’s even MORE fucked up? I removed ALL MY SKILLS… And somehow, they’re back!
Stop endorsing me! I don’t care if you DO think I’m great at what I do (Because let’s face it, I am) I don’t need your help. You’re encouraging idiots to endorse me for things they’ve never seen me do, and their making promises that I have to keep! Thanks for the fucking help, now I have to convince assholes I know nothing about VMWare, and they’re going to think I just don’t want to help them.
In my opinion, LinkedIn has only proven that people are too fucking lazy to go out of their way to put some thought into the shit they’re doing to “Help” others. Oh, and they’ve increased traffic to their site, which I’m sure makes them more money. Guarantee this whole endorsement thing came about as the result of a discussion that started with “How do we increase user interaction and draw in more traffic.” not “How do we better help our users?”