LinkedIn Endorsements are going to be an incredibly powerful data set as the feature continues to spread throughout that network. But it's always interesting to see some of the backlash against data sets like this that people perceive as flawed because the intelligence layer has not been added on top of it yet.
Why do I love to hear the backlash? Because if no one cared you wouldn't hear it, you would just hear….. silence.
The other reason, because all of the complaints tell the story of what intelligence layer on top of the feature needs to be built. There's nothing like your users complaining that your feature is incomplete and telling you how to complete it.
So what is LinkedIn (LNKD) taking knocks for? Primarily that people don't see the value in just looking at someone's profile and seeing how many people have endorsed them for a skill. The problem here is that someone who doesn't know you that well may endorse you for a skill in hopes of getting endorsed back, and what value does that data set add? Not much.
But this is where some people have a hard time using their brains and giving it 10 seconds of thought. The guys at LinkedIn are some of the smartest when it comes to putting relevant people in front of your face because they can do data science. In my honest opinion I think many people have become pessimistic regarding the ability for these platforms to offer intelligent layers on top of their data because, well, so many of them don't. Look at Yelp (NYSE:YELP), what a massive failure of data science that has been when there is SO much potential.
I guarantee that LinkedIn will execute well in this space where others haven't. And the answer to their problem isn't difficult.
They will look at how well that person knows you by measuring the strength of your connection to them, are they part of a network of people who know you as well, how close, how often do they look at your profile, how often do you correspond with them, how important are they?
These pieces of data will inform some kind of algorithm eventually to create a score that LinkedIn can give you for that skill which is relative to everyone else's score for that skill. Right now everything sits in a vacuum, it won't be that way forever.
The promise of that data set with some intelligent data science behind it is massive, absolutely massive, and is one reason why I am extremely bullish on LinkedIn the platform, the company, and the stock.
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