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October 24, 2012

LinkedIn’s new Endorsement system is Viral SPAM. And that’s why it works.

by e1ven

Late last month, in an effort to increase user-engagement, LinkedIn launched a new feature which lets you ‘endorse’ your connections with one click.

This is intended to be a short-hand way of recommending people, designed to get the lazy among us to attest to the skills of their former coworkers. It might get clicks, but they’re meaningless noise.

It starts

The process starts when one of your colleges ‘endorses’ you using the new system.
This sends an email to your inbox, which looks vaguely interesting.


You click to investigate, and you’re presented with a list of your friends, asking if they have certain skills.

The UI makes it easy to mass-endorse your friends without even reading the dialogs, or to endorse each person with a single click.

After endorsing a skill, the dialog replaces them with with another skill for another one of your connections.

Endorsing them, however, just perpetuates the cycle. They will then receive the same email you did.
They’ll click and log in, thinking that someone might have had something meaningful to say about them, but be presented with the annoying Viral mechanism that caught you earlier.

Nowhere to run

While I appreciate that LinkedIn is trying to drive people to the site, encouraging contact-spamming seems one of the cheesiest ways to do so.
There is currently no way to disable endorsements entirely, and Unendorsing is a tedious process, requiring you to go to each profile manually.

I understand that LinkedIn is trying to ensure that LinkedIn is a tool people use every day, but this makes me more likely to simply killfile them in the future.

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