It’s pitching itself as a “social CV”, and features the recommendation element of LinkedIn but adds Foursquare-style badges and traditional tags as a fun and quick way of soliciting a ‘thumbs up’ from co-workers and friends. Recommendations don’t just operate as a popularity contest, however, but can be tied to actual work roles that the user has had.
Talentag is also heavily reliant on a user’s existing social graph. Signup/login can be done via LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, and the service will even pull in parts of your existing LinkedIn profile, including work experience. That said, currently it’s a bit too reliant on Facebook as the only means to add ‘friends’. The problem that this poses is, like myself, many people don’t use Facebook for work purposes, limiting Talentag’s current utility. However, the startup tells me that they are working on their own follow/follower system and further integration with LinkedIn and possibly Twitter to pull in existing contacts but need to first tackle the issue of duplication.
In terms of how you ‘thumbs up’ a colleague, well, firstly you can do just that by clicking on the thumbs up button next to a current or previous work position. You can also add free form tags, such as ‘tenacious’, for example, or write a fuller recommendation.
Lastly, and this is perhaps the most fun part, you can award your colleagues badges (a virtual gift as it were), such as the ‘Best Journalist’ badge, which Jüri Kaljundi, Co-founder & CEO of Emp.ly made sure I got straight away. How very shrewd. Additionally, some badges are awarded automatically, just like on Foursquare. So, for example, users get a “Generous” badge after giving feedback to at least three others.