It is a standing joke in our office quite how many recommendations I personally have on LinkedIn for Magazines, despite having spent pretty much my entire working life in book publishing. And I have a pretty good idea of why this happens. And I love LinkedIn. We have connected to many, many terrific new people in our network through it. But endorsing me for something that reflects the skills of the endorser raises an interesting conundrum for a community such as whitefox.
Scale. It always comes back to scale. How big can the network be? How quickly can thousands become tens of thousands?
But the bigger the network, the more strain on the reason the network has any value in the first place. How can I trust information where an individual is rating their own skill or specialism and they are in control of the endorsement? With ease and speed comes risk. If I don’t know you, how do I know whether I’m wasting my time and my money?
I keep reminding my children that in the future, the one-to-many online marketplace for paid services will be the norm. That their reputation will be their biggest asset. It will give them more flexibility and freedom, if perhaps less protection. It represents an opportunity. But for this model to deliver customer satisfaction there needs to be a level of transparency and accountability which currently doesn’t seem to exist in some of these new gargantuan work hives, racking up numbers of jobs fulfilled like hamburgers served at McDonald’s.