As from Dictionary.com, the meanings of testimonial are
1. A statement in support of a particular truth, fact, or claim.
2. A written affirmation of another’s character or worth; a personal recommendation.
3. Something given in appreciation of a person’s service or achievement; a tribute.
However, many people think otherwise.
Let me take example from the problem with Friendster.com. There is a feature called testimonial and I believe it is used to let visitors of that particular profile to find out more about his or her character. However, so many users have been misusing this feature that the purpose of the testimonial has been redundant.
If you have a hundred contacts as friends in your profile and you have a thousand testimonials, is it possible? Are all your friends so free to log into Friendster anymore? Do all your friends know you so well that they are willing to spend time to write you so many testimonials?
To some people, it may seem something grand and can be proud of to have so many testimonials; but believe me, nobody will want to read the testimonials when most of them consist only lines like “I miss you”, “How are you?”, “Write me a testimonial back okay?”, “Last night was fun”, “I love you” etc.
The testimonial feature is definitely not a chat dialog or tool to attract more attention from your friend’s friends. If you have been doing so, it does not reflect well on you to those who are sensible enough; having a large number of testimonials with meaningless tests is definitely not a proud achievement.
However, if many of your friends have written you very lengthy and descriptive ones, it does show how great a friend you are.