March 12, 2008

 

LinkedIn Recommendations

Apologies in advance, if this post offends some of you. Just putting my thoughts on this topic and I mean no offence.

Have you come across a single critical thing written in the recommendations on LinkedIn? You read only glowing and sometimes, embarrassingly flattering, ensemble of words. Yeah, all these people are real smart and super-intelligent and deserve those nice words. I happen to know many of them. Unfortunately, the equity of these recos gets diluted due to lack of views from the other (read not-so-nice) side. Now, it would be a social and professional suicide to publicly write even mildly negative comment about your co-worker, boss or subordinate. The world is freakishly small place and you may bump into those very people sooner than you expected. Or it may unnecessarily get constructed in a negative way and blowing all the bridges you had painstakingly built. So, nobody treads those possibly precarious territories.

Given the lack of critical feedback in the system, there would be high level of discounting for those golden reviews, even if they are true down to the last word. There lies the opportunity for LinkedIn. They may allow anonymous comments, which may or may not be approved by the person in question. These comments will be available only to the premium users. As LinkedIn is the new El Dorado for head hunters, they would gladly pay for this service. The profile which have only sweet-sweet reviews will probably undergo fine scanner than the ones which have critical comments as the later ones will be more credible.

Another not-so-disturbing observation. The reco system seems symmetric. If A recommends B, then B recommends A. And I suppose, the socially accepted delay for reciprocating the act is few days. This behaviour is not much different from the one on Orkut where it is socially mandatory to become a fan of each other.

Will LinkedIn bite the bullet?

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