Skills.to traffics in tiny endorsements to craft reputation directory

Got skills? Of course you do. And if you’re looking for a way to show them off and solicit friend endorsements to prove your awesomeness, you can turn to Skills.to, the latest project from Delicious creator Joshua Schachter.

The bookmarking maven and his team at social software startup Tasty Labs have soft-launched Skills.to as a reputation directory in the making.

“I want to build a search engine for people by property,” Schachter told VentureBeat, “where people are ranked by general consensus rather than by what they claim they do.”

Skills.to, he said, was released as a minimal viable product. The site made its public debut Wednesday with an inaugural tweet from the co-creator and immediately caught the attention of ReadWriteWeb.

In its current state, Skills.to is merely a simple site that hooks into Twitter and supports a handful of actions: tagging yourself with skills, endorsing the skills of your Twitter friends, requesting endorsements, and searching for people by skill. But the bigger idea is to make Skills.to into a purveyor of portable reputation.

The online reputation idea is not exactly a new one. Applications with similar purposes have popped up and faded away. But Klout, the current web king of reputation, is hard at work making its score the single standard for influence on the web — and eventually in the real world.

Tasty Labs’ approach to reputation, however, is one that shucks algorithmic assessment of social influence for something far more simplistic (but a little too Twitter spammy, if you ask this reporter): endorsements from your network.

Tasty Labs, a Silicon Valley-based company, previously raised $3 million in funding to build social software. The startup’s first product, Jig, gives web and mobile users a way to solicit and search for things they need. It would seem fitting if Skills.to became the reputation directory of Jig. In fact, the Tasty Labs team, Schachter said, initially started building an endorsement feature for Jig but scrapped that to work on Skills.to as a distinct endorsement product.

“Maybe this replaces Jig,” Schachter said, “or maybe this is separate. We’ll see what makes sense.”

Photo credit: mandiberg/Flickr