A product I would love to see: professional networking via Facebook

Last Fall, I was thinking about a few things:

  • people are increasingly trying to do professional networking via Facebook, but support for such a task is awful
  • my LinkedIn network does not really overlap with my Facebook network
  • my FB network has tons of successful, smart people who know other successful, smart people
  • if a friend of mine recommended someone they knew, that would carry a lot of weight

So if I’m hiring, why couldn’t I search among friends-of-friends on Facebook for talent?  If I was looking for a job, why couldn’t I search among friends of friends to see what their companies were looking for?  If I needed an introduction to a company, why couldn’t I see that overlaid onto my personal social graph?

I realized that there is a company that does this kind of thing, but for dating.  It’s Thread.com, with their FB Connect app. Thread was backed by the FBFund, First Round, and a lot of prominent angels.  I really want to see someone build the Thread.com for business. I want to use it.

With a whiz programmer friend, we actually started building it as a little hobby project but it got shunted aside when Aprizi took shape.

There are a number of challenges to this business, including choosing a business model you’re really happy with, and Facebook’s tech quirks and rules around FB Connect.  Many people haven’t filled in their work histories on Facebook, but I believe that as soon as someone needs a job, or really needs to hire, they would become highly motivated participants (and I think you would want them to enter profile info directly into your app rather than into Facebook).

If LinkedIn truly opens up their app API, there could be really interesting ways to bridge the two networks.

I still haven’t seen anything like this, and really hope someone builds it.  If you decide this is something you want to build, I’d be happy to share some Balsamiq mockups I created for you to use or trash as you wish.

16 Comments A product I would love to see: professional networking via Facebook

  1. Eric Amzalag February 21, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Giff,

    I’ve been doing something very similar along those lines. I would love to talk to you about the progress I have made so far and show you my notes. How can we get in touch?
    I looked very very briefly for your email address, but I figured I may as well post here as well.

    Hope to hear from you,
    Eric

  2. ericamzalag February 21, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Giff,

    I've been doing something very similar along those lines. I would love to talk to you about the progress I have made so far and show you my notes. How can we get in touch?
    I looked very very briefly for your email address, but I figured I may as well post here as well.

    Hope to hear from you,
    Eric

  3. ccarella February 21, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Great idea. I wonder how much MeetUp is moving in this direction. I think we have friends there 🙂

    Eric, I’d love to hear more about your project too. I have been toying with the idea of exchanging gpg/pgp keys via Facebook for secure messaging. There are probably a lot of similarities between that and professional networking.

  4. ccarella February 21, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Great idea. I wonder how much MeetUp is moving in this direction. I think we have friends there 🙂

    Eric, I'd love to hear more about your project too. I have been toying with the idea of exchanging gpg/pgp keys via Facebook for secure messaging. There are probably a lot of similarities between that and professional networking.

  5. giffc February 21, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Hey Eric — excellent! Drop me a line at giff.constable atgmail

  6. giffc February 21, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Hey Eric — excellent! Drop me a line at giff.constable atgmail

  7. Eric Amzalag February 21, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Sure lets have a chat. send me an email – ericamzalag atGmail

  8. ericamzalag February 21, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Sure lets have a chat. send me an email – ericamzalag atGmail

  9. Eric Amzalag February 21, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Giff –
    Ill shoot you that email tonight. Looking forward to it

  10. ericamzalag February 21, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Giff –
    Ill shoot you that email tonight. Looking forward to it

  11. Keane March 2, 2010 at 12:43 am

    Hi Giff,

    My name is Keane and I’m with Thread.com. Thanks for the mention! Although our site is tailored to meeting new friends and dating, we’ve heard instances where the interactions have actually resulted in some manner of employment. Likewise, the core of the site centers around helping friends meet other friends in meaningful ways.

    Cheers!
    Keane

    http://thread.com
    http://twitter.com/thread

  12. Keane March 1, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Hi Giff,

    My name is Keane and I'm with Thread.com. Thanks for the mention! Although our site is tailored to meeting new friends and dating, we've heard instances where the interactions have actually resulted in some manner of employment. Likewise, the core of the site centers around helping friends meet other friends in meaningful ways.

    Cheers!
    Keane

    http://thread.com
    http://twitter.com/thread

  13. giffc March 11, 2010 at 2:08 am

    Thanks Jon. I haven’t run across anyone building anything exactly like this, although Eric who commented above is doing something interesting that is related

  14. giffc March 10, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Thanks Jon. I haven't run across anyone building anything exactly like this, although Eric who commented above is doing something interesting that is related

Comments are closed.