Monday, June 14, 2010

Endorse: Moving in the Right Direction

Thanks to Holden Page (@holdenpage) and his post, I was recently made aware of a very interesting service: Endorse is exactly how it reads, an endorsement service, primarily serving the purpose of creating a distributed network of recommendations, so that freelancers can find work, and people looking for freelancers can give jobs. Registration is easy: enter your email and connect with Twitter. From there, you can endorse people in your network by entering their Twitter username and any fields of expertise you plan to endorse them in. Furthermore, you can enter your own fields of expertise as well as your availability within your profile. The interface is smooth and easy to work with; now all it needs is people.

The thing I like and advocate about Endorse is its distributed nature. Ever since I realized the difference between X.509 and GPG, I've sided with the latter. For those not as tech-savvy: when given the choice between a hierarchal or vertical model of endorsement versus a web of trust or horizontal model of endorsement, I have always liked the latter. Depending on one big bureaucratic-like system in order to trust somebody always seemed a little dangerous, while relying on your own friends and peers seemed like a much more feasible method. For Endorse specifically, when hiring somebody, would you rather rely on one or two companies that probably go through thousands of people every day, or your friends who you have come to know and trust? And the most attractive part of this model is that the big companies can still take part in the model, since your friends are not the only ones that can endorse.

Anyway, I am straying from the point (boy, you have to stop me whenever something can be compared to cryptography). Endorse seems like a viable service and I hope something will come of it, especially with the job market being shaky and all. You never know when you'll be out on the street freelancing, and in need of a job.

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