Build Professional Relationships by Helping Others at

December 7, 2011

1:00 pm, a startup based in San Francisco that we showcased at last week’s mixer event in that fine city, helps professionals build relationships.  I know what you’re thinking –  “Good luck going up against LinkedIn!” – because I thought that too.  When I asked founder Adam Rodnitzky about their key differentiator, here’s what he said,

We see ourselves as very different from LinkedIn, which is typically used for maintaining and organizing the network of professional contacts you already have., however, is for discovering and finding a reason to connect with the people who aren’t yet in your network, but who you’d like to have in it. It’s worked incredibly well for our beta testers, so I think the value that it gives professionals will make it worthwhile for people to join and use it.

Their platform allows you to ask and answer each others’ requests for help. A request can be as simple as tweeting a blog post, or as important as an introduction. All help is tracked to reveal how professional relationships grow over time.

As Adam also pointed out, we rely on each other all the time for help; however, our requests often aren’t seen or heard by the right people, or we simply don’t know who to ask.

I decided to take a look around.  I signed in with Twitter and linked to my LinkedIn account (you can sign in with or link to Facebook).  Asking a favor is easy – just type in your question.  People can not only answer you, but vouch for you, broadcast your favor, and forward it to others in their network.  The more you use it, the better your status.  You can follow people by industry or location – helpful filters to help connect you with the right people.

I am rooting for these guys, if only because their team is a fun bunch.  Adam is a marketing person (like me) and an early adopter of “everything”; CEO George Aspland doubles as product manager – and he’s a new (and constantly exhausted) father; Scott Roberts, their back-end programmer, is, like Tech Cocktail, originally from Chicago; and they even have a resident gourmet chef in the form of their front-end programmer, Phuong LeCong. is officially leaving beta behind today and launching nationally today, so give it a spin and let me know what you think – is this a viable networking platform, or will LinkedIn continue to be your go-to online platform for professional networking?  Leave a comment below!

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Monika Jansen is a writer and editor who is happiest pounding out blog posts, newsletters, website content, and other materials. Follow her at: @monikacjansen

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