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As the saying goes, it’s not what you know, but who you know — and a startup called Namesake plans to capitalize on that mentality by providing a social network that gives users a way to  seek and promote job opportunities through the people they know — all in under 200 characters.

Namesake provides users with a news feed that consists of updates in their network and job opportunities posted by either their immediate connections or those in their network. Users looking for a job can apply directly by replying to the opportunity and stating their case in about 200 characters.

For recruiters, Namesake is a way to help spread the word about a job opportunity by letting friends and connections “route” job offers directly to their other connections. Namesake gives recruiters a way to find that friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend that might be just the right person for a job based on their expertise and an endorsement from someone they know. If they can’t find someone in that network, they can always tag the job with a number of requirements and push it out in the hopes of finding the right person.

Identity verification and trust is always a concern with sites like Namesake and Twitter, and the way Namesake gets around that is the use of endorsements — much in the same way LinkedIn provides users with a way to recommend their network connections. Users can provide an endorsement for a person’s specific skills — again with a concise description, in keeping with the theme of the site.

Namesake hopes to monetize the service with subscriptions like LinkedIn does and with targeted premium advertising, but for the time being it’s focused on the community, said co-founder Dan Gould. The Los Angeles, Calif.-based company was launched earlier this year in January and has not raised any money yet.


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