With LinkedIn having established its central role for online business networkers, a flurry of startups have emerged to let people present a new, and often prettier, face to their work profiles - including About.me, Zerply (who I covered back in May), and starting today, Path.to, a network that aims to let you customize your business profile and tap into the power of your network for meaningful endorsements that will help you stand out from the crowd.
Like Zerply, Path.to starts with the new user pulling in their data from an previously-created profile elsewhere on the Web, and then prompts you to fill out the missing gaps in your profile to better tell the story in the way that you want it to be told, with as much information or as little as you like. Rather than simply listing the places you've worked and the titles you've held at various points in your career, Path.to gains value when you list particular skills that you have used at each stop, setting up the opportunity for your network to endorse you based on your shared experience.
My Path.To Profile: http://path.to/louisgray
But there's a little touch of magic behind the scenes at Path.to, which makes the endorsement game more than just a vote counter. Darren Bounds, who you also know from projects like Cliqset and Glow.io, writes, "In Path.To all endorsements are not created equal. We’ve built an algorithm that constantly reevaluates and scores each individual in the system. This scoring helps drive the weight of your endorsement within the system."
Endorsing Darren on Path.to
The Project Management Leaderboard on Path.to
Without diving to deep into that, which sounds a lot like how Klout assumes a certain value to each individual, Path.to hopes that its endorsement structure and leaderboards will surface the best and most qualified people at every skill, from product management to blogging. The site continually pushes users to get endorsed, saying, "Skill endorsements are the currency of Path.To. They help distinguish you from the crowd by increasing your weighting in and around the site."
Connections on Path.To
For beautiful looking glamor photos and a short personal description, About.me works well. But Zerply and Path.to are all about endorsements and an attractive UI that puts your resume in a friendly light. You can find my Path.to profile here: http://path.to/louisgray