If you had a project management position open at your company, and happened to see this recommendation I wrote up for my friend, Dennis Johnson, would it make you more inclined to hire him?
“I have had the distinct pleasure of having Dennis as a colleague at Acme Products. He has a very strong work ethic and unparalleled analytical and problem solving skills. Dennis is dedicated, self-motivated, methodical, and very capable. Working at Acme Products is most challenging, and Dennis fulfilled all our requirements. Dennis will find a way to weather any storm with a smile. He learns quickly and I would have no hesitation in working with Dennis again in the future.”
Guess what. I didn’t write it — a robot did! Or more accurately, it was automatically generated by an intriguing new website somebody told me about called Social Recommendator that quickly and conveniently generates letters of recommendation for people — as well as social media testimonials — based on the entry of a mere 2-3 quick facts you submit about the person’s background.
Is this new technology evil or wonderful? I haven’t quite decided yet. But it’s brilliant, I’ll give it that. Knowing that there are thousands of professionals and managers out there who get asked to write recommendations for folks they know, and despise the task, this site takes the work out of the process and allows people to crank out flowery, customized reference notes in about 30 seconds. And the end product isn’t half-bad, either. For example, could you immediately tell the sample recommendation at the start of this article was a fake?
But wait, there’s more. In addition to the “standard” testimonials available, you can also give your recommendations a little extra flair by clicking a button that will give an individual the “rockstar” treatment — and really talk them up — or add the “cute factor” and make your letter more gushy and personal. And for whatever bizarre reason, there’s even a “pirate” version where, well, you can have your reference for somebody sound like it came right out of Captain Hook’s mouth.
At any rate, you owe it to yourself to take a quick peek at this site and see it for yourself. It’s pretty wild — and while it seems a bit silly, at first, I’m not so sure it doesn’t meet a growing need out there. As the social media universe expands, after all, we’re all going to be asked more and more to write up nice things about the folks in our network. And if this isn’t your cup of tea, or you’re not very nimble with words to begin with, Social Recommendator lets you cheat a little…