LinkedIn ‘Open Endorsers’ Ruining It For Everyone

First there were LIONs, or LinkedIn Open Networkers—essentially people who would friend anyone who asked, presumably in order to win a meaningless pissing contest on the Internet about who had the most internet friends.

Now we’ve learned from Tim Tyrell-Smith that there are Open Endorsers, or people who will endorse you for all your skills if you do the same for them.

(Quick backtrack primer on endorsements, since they’re one of Linkedin’s newest features: Your connections can now indicate that you’re good at Skill X with one click. Much less work than writing a full recommendation, but about as meaningful as clicking “Like” on someone’s status update, we suspect. However, there’re rumors swirling that your endorsements will affect how you rank in search, so like many other changes social media companies have forced on us, we have to play along to stay competitive in this personal branding world.)

Okay, but ‘open endorsers’ are idiots. Here’s the profile of a person who tried to connect with Tyrell-Smith:

Useless. All noise, no signal.

If LinkedIn ranks people in search results based on the relative distribution of endorsements within their profile, fine. If we start getting compared to the people with 99+ endorsements in every skill ever, just because that guy agreed to say “yes” to all his friends, coworkers, and random strangers on the Internet, we’re doomed. Thanks a lot, idiots!