Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Recommended LinkedIn Route

At this writing, I have 94 connections on LinkedIn, the professional online networking site.

But the figure that I'm more focused on is 35.

That's the number of my connections for whom I've written recommendations. In my observation, most folks have a recommendation rate of less than 10 percent, some recommend maybe 1 out of 100 contacts, and still others have monumental lists of people, into the hundreds, with nary a recommendation in sight.

What makes those lists any better than a glorified address book?

Over the past two years, I've decided to take a markedly different approach and emphasize quality over quantity in my LinkedIn world. My reasoning is simple: I want to share honest praise about people whom I respect and value. After all, that's often why I want to Link-In with them in the first place.

There are some potential benefits in the process.

First, because recommendations are relatively scarce, they stand out and visitors are more apt to read them and click on the recommender's name to learn more about his or her background.

Second, as a writer, recommendations are an opportunity to showcase my ability to communicate. And, it shouldn't be overlooked, you need not be a writer for that skill to be deemed a relevant professional asset.

By the way, here's the door to my LinkedIn profile.

3 comments:

David Robison said...

That's a good idea. Recommendations also show that you aren't just a "collector" of names but that you actually know the people on your list and you're sincere.

I practice something similar on some other social networking sites within my niche market of entertainment. The other benefit is I get similar recommendations.

I wish I had more contacts on LinkedIN that I had a more personal connection with, but I'm trying to cultivate a more personal relationship with my existing contacts. It's a start.

Dave

Scott Martin said...

Not sure I agree. I look at LI recommendations as probably solicited, completely biased, and therefore of little value. They are somewhat useful for validating what the user has placed in their profile, but for me they have little utility beyond that.

I have given and checked many references over the years, and never said or heard anything surprising.

InsideEdgePR said...

Scott, I appreciate your other view. I agree that in many cases, the recommendations are hardly objective commentaries. That's the nature of the beast. A sincere, thoughtful recommendation, I would submit, carries many times the weight of the run-of-the-mill standard drivel that we so often see in recommendations. Hence the need for strong communication skills. As a side note, I stress not soliciting recommendations, as my post Aug. 25 touches on. Thanks again for reading, and responding!