LinkedIn recently introduced a “whole new way to understand the landscape of skills & expertise, who has them, and how it’s changing over time.” So essentially they have created a social network around knowledge worker skills. Although the site confuses skill with technology (e.g. Wii, Blackberry and iPod as skills?), it nonetheless represents an innovative step towards better understanding skills and their relationship to the larger topic of competence (i.e. talent, skill, knowledge).
With LinkedIn Skills, I can now see the who, what, where and when of a particular skill, which is inline with the people-oriented features we’ve come to expect from other social media technologies such as Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare. With Skills, I can track the growth of a particular skill, determine which skills are on the up and up, and which should be dropped in favor of greener pastures. As the idea matures, I’m sure we’ll see commercial opportunities such as: Click to …”Verify, Improve, or Share” your skill, but the precedent has been set. Skills are now first class citizens in the world of social media technologies.