In this entry Joi Ito describes how just hired two people from "IRC" a chat resources. Because they participated over time, he got to know them, became trustful of them and eventually hired them.
I recently hired two people who were IRC regulars. I felt very comfortable after "getting to know them" over the last few months on IRC. Of course face to face meetings and interviews were essential, but the time spent with them on IRC really added to my ability to judge their character.
His post is also about how social software can help people get jobs by allowing a larger and more specific group of people get to know them, regardless of geography.
What I would like to assert is that social software can help people with their self-esteem and can also help you find others who can find your assets and interests more valuable and place people in jobs where one can have "character".
This is something I have been trying to take advantage of for a while now. I originally planned to quit my job before Christmas of 2002. In preparation, I asked myself: "How can I get build a network while I'm still employed? How can I start to build a community around what I know and what I want to share? How can show people out there that I have something to offer before I ever quit my job?"
A weblog was the answer. So, in January of 2003, I started "Communication Culture" on LeeLeFever.com. Using this weblog, I could talk about all the stuff I was interested in, what I thought, what was happening in my life. All the while, I just had to be sure that it was perfectly "legal" according to my employer at the time. There was nothing they could do to prevent me from using the site.
Of course, my goal was to get noticed by people who are interested in online communication, because I thought they might be my first clients after I quit my job. May 16th was my last day and soon after I started CommonCraft.com to provide a very focused and professional weblog.
As it turns out, my very first client came to me because of this post on LeeLeFever.com.
So, I think the plan worked and I hope it continues to work...