If you’re wondering why LinkedIn has introduced Endorsements when it already has Recommendations, you’re not alone. It’s one of the questions I’ve been asked most frequently about the recent changes to LinkedIn, and I’ve said before that the two are at least somewhat repetitive. However, the addition of Endorsements reflects a simple truth: numbers are quantifiable; narrative isn’t. In other words, if LinkedIn wants to create a scoring system of sorts (similar to Klout, as Andy Welfle suggested in a comment to this post), Recommendations won’t cut it.
I’m still not a big fan of Endorsements, but because they create data LinkedIn can exploit, they’re probably not going away anytime soon. Still, I’d highly encourage LinkedIn users to continue requesting and giving recommendations along with Endorsements. Both have value, but recommendations provide meaning behind the numbers–and numbers alone will never tell the whole story.
Still trying to make sense of Endorsements? In addition to my two posts linked above, here’s a good summary from Forbes (hat tip: Marla Schneider).