BranchOut, the Facebook-friendly professional network that aspires to kill LinkedIn, is branching out itself. It's pushing its pages out to their own Google-friendly URLs and giving users their own vanity domains.
If you'd like to grab your branchout name, the company has made an early reservation system available to the first 500 people who e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Send a note there and they'll send you back instructions to claim your URL, presumably something nice you can put on your resume, like branchout.com/JoeBob
I like BranchOut's positioning. It's setting itself up as the jobs network for everyone, not just for the professional class that's already on LinkedIn. CEO Rick Marini is going after classes of workers, like soldiers returning from deployment and students new to the job market, who aren't on LinkedIn and who are not about to be. Their world is Facebook. And as work and professional lives are merging, Marini wants to bring the professional network to them, instead of seeing them go elsewhere to get it, where they'll have to rebuild their connections.
"They're all playing FarmVille," Marini says of people starting job searches. He's just giving them a job network where they're already hanging out. It's priced right for these users, too: free. … Read more