A former coworker (who reported to me for part of the time we worked together) asked me for a LinkedIn recommendation the other day. Which is something that I've never given before; and even though I think he's a good guy and would happily serve as a reference for him in general, I somehow didn't want to give a LinkedIn recommendation.
I'm not sure why. It had nothing to do with him: like I said, he's comfortably above the threshold for me to serve as a reference. And while I am a bit worried about this serving as a precedent that would make me harder for me to turn down other former coworkers who are beneath that threshold, I don't think that's the issue: I'm generally comfortable saying no to people. So I think it must either be something about public recommendations in general or LinkedIn in specific that I'm uncomfortable with.
I don't think I have any conscious philosophical dislike for public recommendations, but my guess is that I do have an general distaste for it. And, as social networks go, I certainly don't like LinkedIn as much as LinkedIn would like me to: I put my resume up there, I accept contact requests from coworkers and friends, and occasionally I'll even go through the recommended list and click on names myself, but I don't spend actual time there and I certainly don't want to turn it into any sort of hub.
I dunno. I wish I knew what was going on there, but not enough to actually spend more time thinking about it.