Lately, we LinkedIn users have been hearing a lot from our favorite professional social networking site. Some of us receive regular updates on our connections, prompts to join a group within our fields or interests, pop ups to complete our profiles, and, for the lucky “few”, notifications that we are in the top 10 or even 5 percent of profiles viewed during 2012.

Though their motive might not yet be clear, it is obvious that LinkedIn is making a concerted push to have users feeling more connected than ever with the newest effort being: endorsements.  LinkedIn has been sending many notifications on this front and in case you have opted out of the emails, they made this feature front and center on your profile with an easy to use endorsement ticker scrolling through all of your connections and his or her [his/her] endorsable skills.
The endorsement craze has been met by many questions almost immediately. Many of us out there questioning the point of it all. Why endorse? Personally I endorse when endorsed and usually pay it forward to one or two people that pop up right away. Why not? It’s easy.

However that small action is not all that’s happening here. Let’s take a step back. What just happened? I just logged in to LinkedIn and endorsed a few people, maybe I checked out who has been looking at my profile or confirmed a few contact requests. Regardless, I just spent a total of 5 to 10 unplanned minutes browsing LinkedIn.

Like any other company, LinkedIn wants people to use their product. Like any other networking company, LinkedIn’s product is only as strong as its members are engaged. The more people logging on, the more valuable the technology is as a whole and the more worth while it becomes. A shrewd move by LinkedIn no doubt, but before we get upset with our social network overlords, let’s think.  Will employers or possible new business leads really take the word of my high school classmate that I am proficient in Mircosoft Powerpoint? No! However, the more frequent that all LinkedIn users log on for whatever reason, the more valuable my LinkedIn experience will be and the more useful it will be in my own networking. So keep up the good work, you tricky marketing minds you!