Social Signal is Hiring!

I DON’T FRICKEN BELIEVE THIS! I THINK I’VE JUST FOUND MY DREAM JOB! I was just cruising Craiglist’s Vancouver Job Listings and I came across a job listing for a new company in town called Social Signal which is being created by Rob Cottingham. I found a post on his blog that describes the company and job in detail. When I went back to the Social Signal site though and read the About section of their site, I nearly fell out of my chair! Take a look at this!

What is a distributed collaboration network?

A distributed collaboration network is the next generation of online community, creating shared value through technology-supported collaboration. It leverages “Web 2.0” tools – tools like blogging, tagging, and RSS – that push the Internet beyond information portals and towards collaborative communities. It’s a decentralized, non-hierarchical way of working together that facilitates nimble, project-specific teamwork within a larger, ongoing community.

This community is supported by an ecosystem of web sites that share content and relationships using technologies that make group collaboration an almost effortless extension of individual workflow. A blog post written on one site might pop up in a topical web page on another part of the network. A collection of useful web resources created by one user could be syndicated and republished by half a dozen other sites. A breaking news story could be published on multiple sites, inspiring a blog-based discussion held across multiple sites that is then collected and mirrored on a single web page. There is no hub in a distributed network, just an ever-expanding network of sites that each offers a different point of entry, catering to particular interests and users.

HOLY CRAP! This sounds exactly like my connected communities idea that I’ve been talking about! Ok, let’s do a breakdown of what they said above.

Blogging, tagging, and RSS – Big ditto on that! The idea is to use simple technologies in new and different ways to achieve amazing things. Also the simpler the technologies the more flexible and scalable the system can be.

Collaborative communities – Their name for what I call “connected communities”.

It’s a decentralized, non-hierarchical way of working together that facilitates nimble, project-specific teamwork within a larger, ongoing community.  – Like oh my god, I have a sentence somewhere that says almost the exact same thing! The only thing not mentioned here is the necessary change of company or organizational culture required to utilized such a system. I mean when you say “non-hierarchical”, you’re really talking about equality within the system, with everyone having a voice or part in adding to it and also accessing it. That’s why blogging isn’t so much about a change of technology, as a change of thinking.

This community is supported by an ecosystem –  Yes, this is it! This directly relates to my more recent thoughts on the Web being a permaculture which directly relates to an “ecosystem”. I remember David Weinberger back in 2002 telling me he didn’t like some of the words in my notes on Paradox: In Giving, You Make Yourself Stronger because it made the Web sound like some sort of “organism” but now I realize why I used those words. The Web IS an ecosystem which is why when I started to read about permaculture, everything just came together and made perfect sense to me.

There is no hub in a distributed network – Exactly! Decentralized is the way to go! That way you don’t have a centralized system that, if it overloads, can bring down the entire network system. Instead each community site works independently, sharing and relaying information to the other sites (almost like how the cells in our body work collectively together as our immune system).

Want to see something even more hilarious that relates to this? Check out this posting I did to Craiglist’s Vancouver Resumes section back at the beginning of September just after Hurricane Katrina hit.

Are You A Caring And Creative Tech Company?

Do you know of a caring and creative tech company or organization located in Vancouver, BC who is working on a Web 2.0 social software application to allow millions of people around the world to collaborate and share information more effectively? If so please let me know. I’m feeling fed up and frustrated by the Katrina Disaster and would like to work with a group of people who are working on ideas and technology of this nature to help make the world a better place.

THIS IS EXACTLY THE TYPE OF COMPANY THAT I WAS LOOKING FOR! I don’t believe this! Even more so, here’s another couple of excerpts from a post to Craiglist’s Vancouver Resumes section from farther back in April of this year.

I’m a professional seeking a startup company to help…

…In a nutshell, I am jack of all trades who primarily strives to be a very proactive and efficient problem solver on a variety of fronts, preferring to solve problems before they even happen. This is exactly why I think I’m perfectly suited for a startup over a larger company because from what I’ve seen most larger companies usually prefer more specialized niche people (and may think a multitalented individual’s skill sets are spread out a little too thin for them).

Again this has been my primary problem in trying to find a company to work for. I keep wanting to try to find a startup because I know in those types of environments I’ll be able to utilize more of my diverse skill set instead of just being stuck in a box doing one thing. Their job description pretty much sounds like they are looking for the type of person that I am. Someone who is proactive and can help out within different areas of the entire company.

Man, this is unbelievable! I will do ANYTHING to get this job! I don’t care if I have to scrub the toilets in the company! Hehe, I’ll do it! Ok, I have to rework my resume. I think I might need to add back in my older clerical office work I did in the past for the Federal Government (when I worked for the Community Futures branch as a clerk/receptionist, organizing stuff for the BC region, such as mailouts, meeting schedules, meeting notes, etc) as the job description talks about that kind of stuff. It’ll make my resume more than two pages but I think it will be better to show more of my diverse skill set.

BTW it looks like they use Mac’s in their office as well! I had a iBook G4 with a wireless Basestation last year but I stupidly sold it to my sister because I wanted to try another stab at the gaming industry again last year (which uses PC primarily). Therefore, I sold it to her and I got a Dell XPS machine instead. WORST computer decision of my life! I’ve been dying to get back to an Apple machine since then. Hopefully if I can get this job with them, it would allow me to get back on a Mac machine as well.

4 thoughts on “Social Signal is Hiring!

  1. Hehe, I noticed that as well on their site and yes I’ve actually read some of the basic stuff on Drupal (features though, not so much documentation) because Greg Costikyan is planning on using for it for his Manifesto Games site as well.

    I told Greg it was an excellent choice because he could potentially create his own “connected communities” with it. It would be a perfect example to do so since you have all these indie developers who want to collaborate and cooperate with one another but each work from their own sites. If I get the job with Social Signal, I’m going to recommend that they put together a proposal for Greg because his current approach of “flying by the seat of his pants” isn’t working out to well. I mean he said he wanted his company to be primarily about marketing and yet look at his company website? A lot of people are shaking their heads already, wondering what’s going on.

    As for Drupal though, not sure if you have used it, but from what I’m hearing it sounds like yes a powerful technological tool but not a very friendly one. I’m seeing quite a few complaints with regards to the difficulty of setting it up and configuring it. Obviously the primary reason why it would be so perfect for this “connected communities” approach is because it includes RSS aggregation within it. If this is the case though, I’m wondering why more web software is not including RSS aggregation within it (instead of just RSS feed output support), as I see it as a fundamental building block of the future of the Web.

    I’ve been talking to Anthony at Squarespace about including an RSS Aggregation module but he said it would be pretty difficult to convert all the different feed types. He is thinking about allowing the aggregration of Squarespace journals from not only on one site but from different users of Squarespace (thus matching the Six Apart Project Comet model) but of course this doesn’t make it an “open” and flexible approach which is what is really needed. I’m hoping that Social Signal has come up with such an open model and that anyone can use it (with a little work of course).

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