Trading favors and your integrity

chain linksDang if I wasn’t chatting online with Lara Schiffbauer (of Motivation for Creation fame) about being uninspired (me), when another LinkedIn endorsement from a stranger popped up in my inbox.


My LinkedIn profile (what I wrote) is all true. And many people are endorsing me for skills that I have.

But I wonder why strangers endorse me. I have never met these people, have never edited or proofread them, have never seen them comment on my blog, am not connected with them on FB or Twitter. Do they expect a return endorsement?

Stranger Danger!

Why endorse someone who is a stranger, a person you know nothing about? Why endorse a person for editing if you have never seen the fruits of their editing labors? I just don’t get it (and don’t do it either).

Selling out, trading favors

If Jane Doe endorses a book (trading an I’ll promote your book if you promote my book), I look at that book and other books she’s endorsed. If she endorsed a stone-cold-loser book, then I can’t trust her any more. Or if she is endorsing five books a day, I wonder.

See also The line in the social media sand – that’s your integrity, with guest Therese Pope of Zenful Communications.

Facebook Fan Pages70s-platform-shoes

People trade likes – you like my page, I’ll like yours. All good.

But after I like your page, you’d better give me something of substance. Post after post of quotes from your Amazon reviews or how your book is doing in the ratings (mememememe), and I’m strapping on my boogie shoes. I’ve been a little lax on my FB page lately – need to put on my boogie shoes!

See also Is your fan page a little flat?


I find myself spending less and less time here, because it seems that many people are, 1) promoting only themselves, 2) tweeting quotes from their book reviews over and over, 3) boring me to tears.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know I, 1) post my blog links, many of which are guests, 2) tweet vocabulary, 3) re-tweet what I find helpful or inspiring.

What are you tweeting?

See also Twitter-quette – it’s my turn.

Liar-liar-pants-on-fire promotions fire

Do you want to be known as sincere, believable, someone with integrity?

Or do you want to be for sale, cheap?


Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value. ~Albert Einstein

A pure hand needs no glove to cover it. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

Who lies for you will lie against you. ~Bosnian Proverb

A lie has speed, but truth has endurance. ~Edgar J. Mohn

All quotes from Quote Garden.


Filed under Social Networking

31 responses to “Trading favors and your integrity

  1. So far I haven’t had anyone I don’t know recommend me. Just people who I’ve hung around with online. So, I guess that’s a positive. It might be because I don’t do much on Linked-In so no one can find me!

    I’ve found twitter to be rather slow and non-interesting lately, too. I’m not on there much, but when I am I tweet one thing from me (link, blog post, whatever) and then try to find a tweet to retweet from someone I don’t know and then one from someone I know that is interesting and not a “buy my” tweet.. It’s tough sometimes!

    Thanks for mentioning me!

    • You are welcome for the mention. I agree with you on Twitter…seems to be a lot of fluff, not much substance. I try to add substance, but it seems to be eaten up by all the non-substance fluff! I am beginning to groan whenever I see an LI email. Seems to be a lot of junk there too. Hmm.

  2. True words, Karen!
    Endorsing someone you don’t know is the mirror image of people who want to ban books or boycott films they haven’t read/seen. Worthless appraisals in the end.

  3. I’ve wondered about this a lot, Karen, as people I’ve never heard of, folk from who knows where, have been showing up from LinkedIn–where I barely have a presence–to recommend me for all sorts of talents. I haven’t a clue what they want from me. It’s not like Facebook, where I’m thrilled to meet new people, As for Twitter, I’m with Laura. I barely remember to look at it.

    Now, blogs I like. I’ve been having a wonderful time reading interesting blog posts and making new friends, discovering new books. Frankly, I have so much fun reading other folks’ blogs that I barely take time to maintain mine.

    • I wonder, too, Normandie, about people endorsing me when they have never “met” me. I doubt their sincerity. I do love FB because I get to see friends’ personalities and likes and dislikes. I agree on maintaining a blog – I’m busy reading others’ blogs, I sometimes forget I have my own blog!

  4. I like twitter but if someone is constantly promoting themselves I quit following them. Twitter chats are a lot of fun and a great way to have conversations in real time. As for the LinkedIn, I never endorse someone I don’t know. I also don’t add people to my network if I don’t know them.

    • I always check out people before connecting, as best I can. I’m a little more free with Twitter, but now I have pages and pages of junk to weed through to get to the good stuff.

  5. i haven’t spent much time on linked in. can’t get into it much, but only people i know have endorsed me so far. however, i love me some twitter! maybe you need more fun people to follow! 🙂 i am entertained every day on twitter. and although i promote my blogs and book, i am all about commenting about tv, fashion, and whatever else crosses my mind. i see lots of great stuff. find the fun people like carson daily and jim gaffigan or sara dresher. good stuff!

  6. I’ve scratched my head over some of the endorsements I’ve gotten too, but I chalk it up to good intentions rather than selfishness. Some of those people you don’t recognize may actually know more about your reputation in those areas than you realize.

    But your overriding point is excellent. Even online, you’re known by who you hang out with, so it doesn’t pay to be indiscriminate with endorsements, testimonials, etc..

    I’m even re-thinking my policy about accepting LinkedIn connections. I’d like to be able to say that my first level network consists only of people whom I know or have worked with or admire for a particular reason. But when people who share LinkedIn groups want to connect, it has seemed rude not to. I wonder what you and your readers think about that.

    • Perhaps my reputation does preceed me – in that case, I’m grateful. Though I would like a little give and take before someone starts heaping on the endorsements.
      There’s the rub, Elizabeth, the people that come from groups. Honestly, in the last month or so, I’ve been deleting all the LI stuff as I just don’t have time right now, sorry to say. What I do not appreciate is someone connecting and immediately responding with all their links and “check out my _____.” Then I feel sort of used, targeted, just another number.

  7. I have to admit, there’s been a time or two that I’ve gotten carried away with the likes, etc. I had a bad experience last year, and learned my lesson. I drew the line, even though it was painful, stood by it, and I know my career will be much better off for it. There are so many- like you- that I adore and would write up an endorsement or a blog post for in a heartbeat. But these are the ones I have relationships with. There are those- bless their hearts- who would send us into an endless spiral of favors. And then we wonder what we’re feeding- our careers, or our egos?

    • Well, said, TM! yes, I have relationships with many of my readers, page followers, and blog followers. And I do like to meet and interact with new people. But complete strangers, heaping on praise, it just makes me wonder what they are after. And I too have been burned, a few times, and I tend to be a little more cautious, have drawn a few lines, etc. You must, or your integrity and what you stand for are threatened.

  8. Valuable words, here. I have no desire to be known as the Toast of the Indiscriminate.

  9. Seems like the social media frenzy knows no bounds… I’ve received invitations from people to join LinkedIn but I know they never sent them themselves.
    Good for you for putting your foot down and speaking out about all this craziness!

    • I’ve put my foot down…then let it up again…and it seems every time I loosen up, I get slammed by some flake. Sad to say, but I have to be cautious. Glad I have awesome online friends like you, D.!

  10. I accidently hit the button to contact everyone in my email with Linked In. I wish you could stop that process after it begins. Embarassing. I still haven’t figured out how to endorse people. I should do that one day. … I find myself on Twitter less these days, but I still love the format (especially on less commercial days).

  11. A few seconds, E? I don’t move that fast. And, unfortunately, with most of my mistakes, I don’t recognize them until hours later or the next morning. But thanks for sharing that link for Gmail.

  12. Hear, Hear (or is it Here. Here…? You would know!). This is an EXCELLENT post with excellent questions. I hope I’m seen as a writer/blogger of integrity, in my stories, my blog posts, my twitter tweets, my Linked In account and my Facebook page. We must stick to our integrity, and not go that route of just touting ourselves. If it turns everyone off, what’s the point for heaven’s sake? .

  13. We all must promote ourselves and our blog posts once in while. But doesn’t it get tedious when you see nothing else from a connection? That turns me off.

  14. Linked In is crazy. I get endorsements all the time. It so happens that I am a very experienced writer and editor, but I get contacts and endorsements from random people who have no way of knowing that. Also I have several endorsements for writing poetry, which I’ve never done and would be bad at. Worse, people send messages asking me to vouch for them, but in honesty I can’t do that so I won’t.
    You’re so right. Integrity is all. What chance do we have to be genuine without it?

  15. Viv

    I really struggle with the you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours thing. I seldom retweet an article I’ve not read and thought interesting (even if I don’t agree) and generally I don’t rt books unless I’ve either read them and/or have a great deal of respect for the author. I also don’t ask that others do the same for me.
    I’ve also noticed a fluctuation in blog followers. I get people subscribing for a few days then vanishing, presumably because I haven’t immediately followed their blog. I can’t follow that many blogs or my inbox would become oppressively full, so I tend to dip into the ones I see and like.
    It’s not personal if I don’t follow back a blog. It’s self preservation.
    On Twitter I’m now very cautious about following writers since so many seem to think immediately sending me DMs for their books is ok. I unfollow at that point. If I do follow back, I also usually aim to greet the new follower and have a chat. If they don’t respond to that, they may get unfollowed. I’m there to be sociable, as well as to network.
    You are so right: integrity is all.
    Thank you.

  16. I get auto replies for following someone, and it’s usually a “check out my blog” or “check out my book.” Annoying.

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