Testimonials (or Personal Recommendations)
From Social Patterns
Testimonials are endorsements and can provide information about a person or about aspects of the person’s interests or skills. This can help round out a profile and provide alternative perspectives to the centric self promotion.
A person is interested in what others think about them or their work and wants to have others see this as support to their own information and skillset.
- Use when you want to allow users to provide endorsements for other people in their network.
- Use testimonials to share information by other people about a person in their profile.
- Provide a module in the profile for presentation of testimonials.
- Allow people from the user’s network to write a testimonial or recommendation for the user.
- Present a clear call to action when a person is viewing a profile that is not their own. Both flickr and Linked In provide links in a secondary column of information to main body of the profile.
- Consider allowing the testimonial writer to select how they know or recommend this person.
- Allow the person being written about to approve the testimonial or recommendation before it is published. After all, the profile is theirs and they should be in control of the content presented
- Clearly articulate to the writer that the recommendation will have to be approved before being published. This will deter people who want to be nasty or rude or who are trying to spam the profile.
- Provide attribution for the testimonial or recommendation and link that back to the writer’s own profile. This will help lend credibility to the recommendation.
- Consider presenting on the user’s profile the recommendations that they have written for others.
- Consider presenting on the user’s dashboard (see Personal Dashboard) a block or module showing recent recommendations or testimonials written by people in their network. This could also be presented in an activity stream. (see Activity Streams).
Providing users the opportunity to provide an endorsement for people in their network allows them to share positive information about that person in a more permanent and meaningful way than a comment or more temporary flag of approval. For professional leaning sites like LinkedIn, Recommendations provide profile viewers with information about the person from a variety of perspectives which can help in making hiring or business decisions.