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If you’ve been here before, you’re somewhat aware that I believe in the spirit and execution of collective intelligence. Working together in a proactive manner to tackle objectives, goals and actions through transparent and social ways, cemented by collaboration and collaborative-based technologies is the ‘new black’.
I am, however, somewhat disturbed by a recent find in the Web 2.0 world.
Its name is Mixtent.
Rate & Discover The Most Talented People In Your Network
The basic premise of Mixtent is to adjudicate your LinkedIn social network through a comparison vote. To participate and ‘unlock’ your own skills to the network (and establish your own ranking), you must pit your network against one another, voting to determine who is more qualified than the other on a given skill.
In return for doing so, your own personal skill is ‘unlocked’ to the network in the category you just completed. You must complete 25 votes per skill in order to do so.
For example, if I wanted to unlock the skill ‘creativity‘ to see what percentile my ‘network’ considers I rank, I would have to go through the process of voting LinkedIn colleague A versus LinkedIn B (in some form of random order) twenty-five times in the creativity skill bracket. Afterwards, I would be able to see where I rank by the entire LinkedIn network through percentile, as well as against my own network, in addition to my coworkers.
This is a 360-degree feedback tool gone completely awry. Here is why:
- As far as I can tell, this is almost analogous to a negative billing model (although you can ‘opt out’, it seems you are automatically being adjudicated by your network due to the connection into LinkedIn even if you have not signed up for the MixTent service)
- Voting itself is unfair (there does not seem to be any credible algorithm being applied when voting against colleague A or B — other than key word searching in the LinkedIn profile itself)
- LinkedIn, for me, is the new business card rolodex service. I personally use it to track the details of not only my strong ties, but both my weak ties and potential ties. How am I to judge the capabilities of an individual when I’ve met them for 15 minutes and haven’t worked with them … ever. Furthermore, what if I’ve never met them before?
- The service itself reminds me of the dreaded Web 2.0 service known as “Hot or Not”. Has it really come to this? Do we really need to pit our professional network against one another in a skills-based popularity content? (note: CubeDuel provides similar ridiculousness)
“But Dan, you’re a 2.0 chap, are you really against the use of collective intelligence to help business professionals gain feedback on their skills, talents, etc.?”
No. I’m not against the practice itself.
What I am against is the process in which Mixtent operates. LinkedIn should provide a tool in which I can proactively ask my network for their opinion on certain skills, etc. and I should be able to control who I’m asking. And no, I’m not referring to the rather lame use of ‘recommendations’ in LinkedIn.
Mixtent is dangerous. It can (and likely will) cause irreparable damage to the psyche of some individuals
I’m boycotting it.