LinkedIn 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:
- 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.
- 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!”
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.