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LinkedIn Skills Arms Race

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You’ve probably noticed over the last few weeks that there’s been something of a deluge of new skills appearing in people’s LinkedIn profiles.  These have been created as a way of rating people’s abilities in a particular field and have become something of a Facebook style ‘Like’. Although they don’t replace the ‘recommendations’ function they’re certainly a quicker, easier way of recommending someone.

As with most things, with LinkedIn you get out what you put in. Obviously it helps if the people you’re trying to engage/stalk/entrap are also using LinkedIn to a similar level but it can’t hurt having the casual user see that over 300 of your 400 connections recommend your ‘Invisibility’ skill.

There’s a near constant stream of people in my LinkedIn feed adding skills like there’s no tomorrow. At the same time I’m constantly made to feel guilty by the relentless emails letting me know someone else has endorsed a tenuous skill I’ve added and shouldn’t I really think about reciprocating?

LinkedIn has almost turned it into a game to endorse people. I got sucked into a 20 minute session of ‘Endorsement Roulette’ (I’m pretty certain I was trying to unlock an achievement). The problem being that you tend to get a lot of people endorsing you for skills they’ve never used you for, simply because they like or you’ve worked well in another area for them so why the hell not?

Whilst I still think these skill endorsements can be a useful resource, Christine (who also uses LinkedIn regularly) isn’t so keen on them, seeing it as a popularity contest rather than a hard fought badge earned. She may have a point. As more and more people add more and more skills does it devalue them? Also surely it’s at risk of ‘gaming’ by those lovely folk who seem to connect based on 6 degrees of separation? What do you think?

by Ross McMinn

Teeth Aren’t The Future

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If you’ll pardon the expression I’m sick to the back teeth of toothpaste adverts. I can’t believe that these aren’t being created by the same small number of companies who’ve created an unhealthy stranglehold over the dental hygiene market.

I can’t stand Sensodyne adverts with short interviews of dentists or guineau pigs shot from seemingly a thousand different adverts. Short case studies that showcase toothpaste as a life changing enamel pleasing messiah. Similarly, I’ll never cease to tire of ads from firms like Colgate where we see a team of intrepid scientists dutifully checking and rechecking results as an animated representation of Colgate bravely deflects food and drink from the tea. I use Colgate. I consider it my mission to make this heroic guardian suffer.

Compare this, if you will, with the treatment our eyes get in advertising. Unlike their mouthy equivalents eyecare adverts get lovely creative advertising and memorable slogans like “should have gone to specsavers”. Why must our teeth settle for second best?

In all seriousness, I find it strange that certain products or services slip into a rhythm in which seems to permeate that whole industries advertising. It’s when a company like Dove steps out from what we perceive as the advertising norm for that industry that they really start to stand out. I’m not advocating a “Campaign for Real Teethcare” or “hilarious” skits that involve people’s teeth being knocked out with a “Should Have used Aquafresh” tagline, but the brand that goes different I’d wager will steal quite a march on the rivals. Especially when their rival is still busy setting up a thousand different cameras in a dental surgery to capture that exact moment the teeth glint when the dentist smiles.


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