LinkedIn for Good

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li4good.gifLinkedIn announced today the launch of a new initiative “to leverage the network to promote positive social change.” LinkedIn for Good consists of basically two things:

  1. Partner non-profit organizations have pages on LinkedIn with information about the organization and a link to immediately make a donation or find others who support the cause.
  2. Members can add badges to their profile showing their support for the organization (you don’t have to make a donation to show the badge).

“Badges? We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!”

badges.gif

Now I’m not a cynic by nature — quite the reverse, in fact, as most people who know me well will attest — but I’d venture a guess that LinkedIn has discovered yet another form of spam… or something, I guess spam’s not the word for it. See, there’s no validation whatsoever — all you have to do is click on a couple of buttons to add the badge to your profile. So even though I’ve only actually donated to one of the organizations above and haven’t even heard of two of them, they’re all on my profile (yes, I’ve already fixed it).

I’d like to see it so that you have to make a donation to get a badge. Sure, if you’ve already made a donation to the organization outside of LinkedIn, it seems like you should be able to demonstrate your affiliation without making an additional donation. But if you’ve already made a donation, what’s another dollar? I just think you’re going to see people trying to puff up their profile by showing affiliations that they don’t really have.

Cynicism aside, I really do think it’s a great concept. I like the idea both of increasing visibility for these organizations and of being able to easily connect with others who support the same causes I do.

Dave Sanford has some additional comments on the LinkedIn Blog.

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2 Comments

  1. I understand your perspective, but I had already put a Unitus logo/link on my personal blog about a month ago when I first discovered them, simply because I am impressed with the organization. I am in the middle of a business build-out and literally have not even a dollar to spare right now, but I figured the least I could do is try to spread the word about it, and that putting the link on their blog would keep them on my radar for when I am in a better position to make a meaningful donation.

    Even if someone is trying to ‘puff up’ their profile, if a few more people are reminded to donate blood or give at least a modest gift of time or money to one of the organizations than that is all for the better. And if someone puts a logo up without sincerely believing in the mission of a particular organization, well, I’ll just put my faith in cyber-karma to give them their due somewhere down the line!

    …on the other hand, maybe it could be a great fundraiser for organizations (and associations and educational instutions) to “sell” use of the icons for a nominal fee…or a great PR move for Linked-In to donate a nickel or a dime each time someone adds a charity logo to their profile.

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