Circular Recommendations Guys

As I’m sure you already know, there’s this feature on LinkedIn called “recommendations”.  The point of it is that it allows you to write endorsements for people in your network based on your history with them – projects you’ve worked together on, professional challenges that you watched them solve, etc.  It’s supposed to help give other people on LinkedIn a better view of who the person is based on the recommendations they’ve received.

But, of course, there are always those that decide to pervert something and complete ruin the intention of it.  Just like there are people that don’t understand that LinkedIn Is Not A Video Game, we also have people that apparently believe that we’re all idiots.

See, it’s all about context, which helps you keep things in perspective.  When I read a recommendation on someone’s profile, the first thing I do is go look at the profile of the person who wrote it, and check to see if the original person has written them one.  Why?  Because I don’t believe that circular logic is something you should follow.  I mean, really, what good would it do you to read:

Bob Waltenspiel is the greatest human being on the planet.  Seriously, Mother Theresa was a two-bit swindler and hustler compared to Bob’s capacity for giving.”, by Jeff Mackey

“Jeff Mackey can cure cancer with the slightest touch of his pinky finger.  Honestly, he’s just that incredible.”, by Bob Waltenspiel

“Dave Phillips is single-handedly responsible for everything good on the internet.  Linus, Bill and Steve all call him for ideas.”, by Bob Waltenspiel

“Bob is the single greatest sales guy in the history of sales.  Hiring Bob would instantly increase your sales a bajillion percent!”, by Dave Phillips

“Dave’s incredible.  I once watched him fix a mainframe system just by looking at it for four seconds and then touching the power cord lightly.”, by Jeff Mackey

“Jeff can design websites that will blow your mind.  Literally.  A client once experienced pure bliss and rapture after he was done.”, by Dave Phillips

Honestly now…what good does that do anyone?

None.  Exactly.

So that’s why you have to pay attention not only to what’s said about someone…but also who’s saying it.  Context is incredibly important when it comes to things like this.  Are you looking at mutual recommendations from two people who just started doing business together and so they both want to make sure each other looks good?  Or are you looking at a true, genuine recommendation from one person to another that might actually mean something?

That’s all for this time.  Make sure you check out our other Don’t Be That Guy entries, and we look forward to seeing you at an upcoming event.