Authentic Crew: Coming Along Swimmingly

It was Christmas break, December 2008. I was probably listening to more than enough Johnny Mathis for one sitting. Mom ingrained his voice into my brain as one synonymous with presents and jingle bells, and despite how wonky the guy can be, I still kinda enjoy hearing his voice at Christmastime.

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Anyhow, I was also exploring a concept over the break, one I believed would play well with Authentic Jobs. The site had already gained notoriety for housing some of the best jobs for web professionals. What if it also housed some of the best professionals on the web?

I’ve received numerous requests over the years from working individuals who wanted a place on Authentic Jobs – not in the form of a job listing, but rather a profile displaying their work, skills, and availability. A work-for-hire listing, of sorts.

The challenge, I felt, was that there were already plenty of services and communities for featuring your work as a creative professional. Two years later, this is more evident than before. I didn’t feel building another one of these communities was in the best interest of the company.

So, the question then became one of aggregation: What if there were something that brought together your involvement in those other communities, but in one place, and in a way that was attractive to prospective clients and employers?

I cracked open Photoshop, and a couple days later this emerged:

Here, the idea was that my profile would be constructed from my Veer portfolio, LinkedIn account, and a few other sources, along with proprietary information about skills, availability, and so forth.

And then I let the idea sit. For more than a year the idea gathered more dust than an AOL keyword, mostly because I was working full-time for someone else. But in January 2009, I made the decision to finally move forward with the idea and assembled a crack commando unit to pull it off.

Much has changed since that first screen over Christmas break, and much has changed even in since announcing Authentic Crew last September. And what of that landing page I just linked up? It’s a little misleading. We’re not planning on providing you a “crew” as much as we’re planning on providing you something along the lines of the screen above. (The design has changed significantly since then, of course.)

When will Authentic Crew be ready? In a while-ish. But we’re making awesome progress, discussing things with the right people, and building an experience that we think will help you stay gainfully employed – either full-time or freelance – with a little less effort.

Follow @authenticcrew on Twitter for updates.