Feature Article

February 13, 2013

Twitter #Hashtag Buys, LinkedIn Endorsements and Shared Dilution

As some of you may already know, I am sometimes more of a Luddite than an early adopter.

My view point of technology is that I have been burned by every purchase I made on the bleeding edge. Therefore, I would rather join the colonists than be a pioneer left for dead by the wasteland of poor support and the gulch of software glitches.

So the modification of software that I frequently use is largely ignored by me, with the hopes of a return to normalcy or a sign that the frontier town has found a sheriff and the people are settling in. 

However, the recent moves by LinkedIn and Twitter to expand their systems are going to be hard for me to ever accept. I will warn you in advance that I may be a bit of a hypocrite in this article.

First of all let’s talk about LinkedIn. I am happy to let the world use me as a conduit to reach other people as an open networker. I “treat everyone as being a friend I haven’t met yet” (thank you Minnie Grossinger).   And in truth, running events I am never sure if I have actually met people, so I accept everyone’s invitation. However, with the new endorsement tags I wish I could reject them. I have a lot of recommendations and I give recommendations to people I have worked with in the past and today. I do not want to dilute these recommendations with a pile of badges. However, LinkedIn has made it so these things pop up automatically four at time and I am asked to judge people’s skill sets one attribute at a time.

This is not the measure of a man, nor should it get the prominence it has on the profile page. In the months before this added feature, I was getting LinkedIn inbox requests to evaluate people whose skills were unknown to me. After touching this software once, I backed away so not to bother my true coworkers nor get false data from people I did not know. However, the requests kept coming in. 

The bottom line was that LinkedIn has made itself less valuable to me. A problem I am not sure what to do about, but makes me think ecademy, spoke or some others deserve more of my time.

 Now comes news that Twitter is going to enable ecommerce on its system. I am sure we will try it to make it so that a discount code for our events is more directly tied to a registration. However, I cannot help thinking that I am going to see spam on Twitter like never before. Right now I am an acquired taste on Twitter so the people that find me are likely to be the ones I want to talk to and the people I follow are those with similar, but often varied interests. 

Now whenever I get a request to follow, I am going to need to look at the person’s (avatar/persona) history to determine if this is a person really interested or just a spammer looking for more followers.

I recognize that many companies are going to embrace this, but I also see some value being lost.

I just feel like the value is being diluted and I thought I would share that with you.

Edited by Stefanie Mosca

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