5 things LinkedIn members should endorse (hint: drinking)

With all the free love happening out on LinkedIn, it’s like an online version of the musical ‘Hair.’

Last week was a banner week here at Crescenzo Communications. I picked up seven more endorsements from my colleagues on LinkedIn! I now have more endorsements than Mitt Romney got in last year’s election. Now, I’m not stupid. I know that LinkedIn has made it soooooo easy to endorse someone on LinkedIn that it’s really not all that special to get an endorsement from someone. It’s sort of like having sex with Paris Hilton or doing drugs with Charlie Sheen: You really don’t have to work very hard to make it happen. I mean, it would be different if people actually had to actively seek you out and endorse you, and if they had to write a little something about why they are endorsing you, and maybe mention why they are even qualified to endorse you. But that’s not how it works on LinkedIn. Out there, it’s practically impossible not to endorse someone. Anytime you either (a) look up someone’s name on LinkedIn, or (b) click a link from your email to check out a new contact’s profile, a box like this one automatically appears: If you want to endorse that person, all you have to do is check boxes! You don’t have to put any thought into it at all! You don’t really even have to know the person all that well! Here’s the insidiously brilliant part of it all: You just know that if you endorse the person, then that person will probably endorse you back. So LinkedIn has created endorsement whores—people who endorse anybody they can, in the hope of getting endorsed back! That’s not the only way to endorse someone, either. When you get a message that someone has endorsed you, and you follow the link to see more information, eventually a box like this pops up: It’s group endorsing! You can go on a huge endorsing binge and endorse 50 people in two minutes! Just keep clicking! Just keep clicking! And again, you know that if you endorse them, they’ll probably endorse you back! Notice the implied responsibility for endorsing? “Now it’s your turn! Join in!” I mean, they did it for you, what kind of selfish slob are you, that you won’t do it for them? Doing endorsements on LinkedIn is like having sex in the 1960s, during the sexual revolution: It’s easy to do, everybody’s doing it, you don’t have to know the person you’re doing it with, and it’s OK to do it in groups! LinkedIn has become a wild, crazy orgy of people endorsing anyone they can—and there’s no chance of getting a disease! Forget about “Turn on, Tune in, Drop out.” Now, it’s “Log in, Click Here, Kiss Ass.” Now, I don’t have any problem with this. I’m not a prude when it comes to endorsing. Personally, I like to get to know someone before I’ll endorse them, but that’s just me. I was raised Catholic and still have that residual Catholic guilt. But if people want to endorse me, that’s cool! The only problem I have with it is that my endorsements are all in the communications categories: blogging, writing, employee communication, public speaking, etc. That’s cool, but I wish I could figure out how to tinker with the LinkedIn settings to set up my own categories that people could endorse me for. I mean, the communications stuff I do is only one small part of my life. I want endorsements in all aspects of my life. For example, I’d like some endorsements for: Sex. How great would it be if some of my old girlfriends went out there and endorsed me for being a great lover? Then I could rub those endorsements in my wife’s face and say: “See, you don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s supposed to take less than a minute!” Biting my tongue on Facebook. How much would I like to see this message in my in-box one day: “Congratulations! John Brown has endorsed you for keeping your mouth shut on Facebook as much as you do and not blasting the people who feel the need to post every time they go jogging or do Pilates or feed their cat or have a bowel movement!” I should not only get endorsed for that—I should get a MEDAL for that. Drinking. When you drink as much as I do, it’s almost like having a part-time job. You have to manage it like you would manage a toddler—paying constant attention to it without ever letting it get the upper hand. I’m super proud of my drinking ability, and damned if I wouldn’t like some public endorsements of it. Eating. See above. Procrastination. When you do this right, it’s an art form. And nobody can procrastinate like me. Nobody! Give me a year to write a column, and I’ll write it the night before. Give me two weeks, and I’ll write it the morning it’s due. Give me one day, and I’ll tell you I got shingles to buy myself some more time. Hell, I’ll figure out a way to actually get shingles if it means I can procrastinate for a couple more days. You think that’s easy on the nerves? It’s completely stressful—but drinking helps. I would like a little recognition for all the hell I put myself through. Readers, what do you want to be endorsed for? Let me know, and I’ll endorse you for it—as long as you endorse me back. That’s how it works. Steve Crescenzo blogs at corporatehallucinations.com. His Twitter handle is @crescenzo, and you can sign up for his newsletter, Low Hanging Fruit, at www.crescenzocomm.com.

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