LinkedIn: You Search or It Finds?

August 30, 2013

One of the ArnoldIT goslings manages my social media presence. We try to provide information via automation or by asking questions. The “Stephen E Arnold” profile provides some information, but the detail located at is not included.

I am not sure what my area of expertise is. As I approach 70 years in age, I have worked in fields as diverse as machine shop janitor to advisor to the world’s largest search and software company. Along the way, I have labored inside nuclear facilities, sat in meetings which considered the fate of Fortune 500 companies, figured out how to make an online database produce a profit, and running laps for a person with $9 billion in personal assets.

I am surprised when my social media gosling reports that people are endorsing me for a wide range of capabilities. The most popular is analytics, which is okay. But my focus in analytics is how to make money. My relative, Vladimir Ivanovich Arnold, was into fancy math, which is supposed to “run in our family.” Whatever. The people recommending me are those who are “linked” to me. My view is that when someone wants to be my LinkedIn pal, the person should be involved in some way with content processing. I don’t recall most of the people, but some of the names are familiar. I stick close to Harrod’s Creek, Kentucky, and avoid the bright lights and big city.

Am I a monkey in a cage for those who pay LinkedIn for access to my “content”? Image from Alamogordo.

I was not surprised to read “Why Am I Being Endorsed for Skills and Expertise I Do Not Claim on my Profile?” (Note: I have no idea if you will be able to view this community post on LinkedIn. Your problem to solve, not mine.)

The main point of the post is:

I am receiving notices that I have been endorsed for skills that I have not listed on my profile. I have over 20 years of experience and may done these tasks at some point, but these are not necessarily the same skills I want to highlight currently on my LinkedIn profile and I have not claimed expertise in these areas. Why are any of my contacts being asked to endorse me for skills I don’t want highlighted?

My answer to this question is, “Generate revenue.” But the most interesting item in this community thread comes from someone whom I assume is a LinkedIn employee, cheerleader, or amanuensis. Use the search function in your browser to jump to this snippet once you are in the community post I have cited, please:

Thank you all for the valuable feedback. Our team really appreciates it and we definitely take it into account as we continue to improve the user experience across all of our products and features. With that said, I wanted to clarify a few things regarding endorsements:

1. You can only be endorsed by a 1st degree connection (a LinkedIn member you already know are directly connected with), and you can always manage which endorsements to show.

2. Your connections can endorse you for skills that you have on your profile, as well as skills that you do not have on your profile. If you are endorsed for a skill you don’t have on your profile, the skill and endorsement are not added to your profile until you accept the endorsement. In other words, your connections can endorse you for any skill they think you are good at but we will never add a new skill to your profile without your permission.

Lastly, I want to let everyone know that we are committed to providing our members with the best experience possible and we will continue to invest time and resources into making that happen.

Derek Homann

LinkedIn Community Lead

I just finished a column called “Desperate Housewives.” The main point in that piece is that business has become a television drama. The “answer” ignores the question and offers the type of lingo that flows from the writers’ room.

I am amused when a recruiter writes me about a position in some city in which I would prefer not to visit under any circumstances. When i write the person who pitches me some crazy job based on my “experience”, I have come to understand that LinkedIn sells headhunters my name because I match a profile.

I wish the LinkedIn team and its former Googlers and open source wizards success in their future endeavors. The connection between the reality the LinkedIn content presents and the reality of the individual listed in LinkedIn may be tenuous if not fanciful.

I suppose that LinkedIn is a great way to find consultants, job candidates, and information. My concern is that the consultants may have lost a job and are trying the Kelly Girl approach to paying bills whilst in search of a “real” job. I think job seekers who have student loans and zero experience are flipping the LinkedIn rock in hopes of finding a chubby grub on which to feed. I think that much of the information presented in LinkedIn postings is pretty wild and crazy. I used to keep a folder of LinkedIn “factoids” but I gave up. Almost any “group” provides examples, so an archive is not needed.

What’s the trajectory of LinkedIn? My hunch is that Google or some similar outfit will buy the company to get the data. LinkedIn is a slightly more refined version of Facebook. Walled gardens are wonderful. I, however, find them more like a zoo. I visit once in while to marvel at the creatures within.

And search? Good luck with that without paying a monthly fee.

Stephen E Arnold, August 30, 2013

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One Response to “LinkedIn: You Search or It Finds?”

  1. Linkedin Recommendation Examples: “All I Do Is Write Great Linkedin Recommendations” « "Living The Digital Media Artist Lyfestyle" on September 2nd, 2013 8:51 am

    […] LinkedIn: You Search or It Finds? ( […]

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