On drinking one’s own Kool-Aid

~ 12 April 2007 ~

Last week, in need of contractor assistance, I posted a listing on Authentic Jobs and thus began a test to see just how well the site would perform. I’ve heard plenty of second-hand stories of the success companies and individuals have or have not had with their listings, but this was my first direct exposure in the shoes of an “employer”.

The listing title was “Front-end coder familiar with Tabifier”, a fairly specific request for an XHTML/CSS coder with knowledge of Patrick Fitzgerald’s Tabifier script. Surprisingly (or not), the results were pretty good: Within the first 24 hours I received emails from 15 candidates, more than one-third of which seemed qualified for the job. After reviewing qualifications in greater detail, I selected Dale Cruse, who is currently completing the project (carry-over fixes for a client from my days as a freelancer).

Now, it’s fair to say this was a freelance listing, and full-time listings don’t always garner the same number of candidates or quick responses as do freelance. But for most companies that’s okay — they’re coming not for quantity but rather quality. They’ll go to Monster or Craigslist if they need dozens of resumes to sift through. They’ll come to us if they need a few talented, standards-aware designers and developers to consider.

In related news:

New partnerships: We’ve added three new advertising partners and one new listing partner:

  • Notcot.org - As an avid consumer of all things notcot, I’m tickled to have ad space on Jean Aw’s daily digest of wicked cool stuff. How she finds so much great stuff on a consistent basis blows me away.
  • Smashing Magazine - No doubt you’ve stumbled on an article from Sven Lennartz or Vitaly Friedman sometime in the last few months (if not already a regular reader), as their exhaustive lists of tutorials, best-of, and other tech resources warrant proper attention.
  • LogoPond - If you’re seeking influence, or better yet inspiration, or just needing feedback for logo design, LogoPond is the gallery-slash-community for all three activities.
  • IconBuffet - Manufacturers of some of the hottest icons on the planet, IconBuffet offers not only stock icons but free icons available for trading among the ever-active IconBuffet Community (which is where you’ll see job listings aggregated).
Screen snippets of new advertisers

Arguably, with nearly 20 prestigious listing, advertising, and aggregator partners, Authentic Jobs now provides the most complete exposure of any targeted job board for designers and developers.

Free AJ icons: Speaking of IconBuffet, I recently engaged Firewheel Design (makers of IB) to design a couple icons for the site. The aim was to visually distinguish between full-time and freelance listings. As expected, they kicked out some excellent concepts, and two final icons (desk, laptop) made the cut. You can now see those icons on the site.

And then, only then did Josh and crew gone and done good by creating a set of 11 icons themed around Authentic Jobs and full-time/freelance work. These are now available as a Free Delivery set that you can acquire and trade among the IconBuffet Community (more about that process here).

Authentic Jobs icons


Veer Veer: Visual Elements for Creatives.
Stock photography, type, and killer tees. Genuinely recommended by Authentic Boredom.

1   Damian ~ 12 April 2007

Good stuff, Cameron. Congrats on the continuing success of AJ!

This might be kinda off-topic — but when Smashing did their spec logo contest, my attitude towards them changed a little bit. My high regard for them dropped a few points because their action seemed inconsistent with the general theme and direction of the site. Anyhow, that’s just my opinion.

2   DaDawg ~ 12 April 2007

When will you allow us lowly designers and developers to post our resumes on authentic jobs for employers to peruse? :)


3   Michael Dick ~ 12 April 2007

I actively watch AJ, however I never reply to any jobs as of now, school and other work has the best of me for now — though, I do look forward to the time I can start replying to AJ postings, they all seem like great clients to work with.

4   Joshua ~ 12 April 2007

Cameron, glad to see you found the right person for the job!

Also, congrats on the new partners. It’s been great to watch what a success Authentic Jobs has become and pleasing to see that it hasn’t become flooded with spam but instead has stayed focused, clear and entirely useable. Great work!

5   Patrick Fitzgerald ~ 12 April 2007

I’m sorry I didn’t see that job listing, I’m somewhat familiar with Tabbifier. :-)

6   Cameron Moll ~ 12 April 2007

This might be kinda off-topic — but when Smashing did their spec logo contest, my attitude towards them changed a little bit. My high regard for them dropped a few points because their action seemed inconsistent with the general theme and direction of the site.

Admittedly, any time there’s a spec contest, it’s definitely a concern for the industry. However, I think we’re all entitled to at least one slip-up per career.

When will you allow us lowly designers and developers to post our resumes on authentic jobs for employers to peruse? :)

That’s been requested on more than one occasion. We don’t want to muddy the waters per se, but are at least cognizant of the need.

I’m sorry I didn’t see that job listing, I’m somewhat familiar with Tabbifier. :-)

But only somewhat, I imagine :D

7   DaDawg ~ 12 April 2007

ok, how ‘bout “authentic resumes” or “authentic bodies”? separate site, same idea.

i love residual income generators like this…i spend a lot of time thinking about what other areas could benefit from a similar model.

8   Michael ~ 12 April 2007

Not to nitpick, although that is exactly what I intend to do, but don’t you mean eating your own dog food? I think drinking your own Kool-Aid means that you’ve bought into unfounded hype or some sort of mass delusion; it’s usually a reference to the Jonestown massacre.

Not sure what the etymology of eating your own dog food is. Someone with more energy than me can look it up on Wikipedia.

9   Rick Curran ~ 12 April 2007

Ah, I received the free ‘Authentic Jobs’ IconBuffet delivery today, I never realised it was actually for Authentic Jobs! I did think to myself “Ah, that’s the same name as Cameron Moll’s job site” but thought it was simply coincidence or some kind of subtle tribute! ;)

10   Michael Dick ~ 12 April 2007

@Michael, although you are correct and the history channel has had some great specials regarding the Jamestown Massacre, ‘To drink the Kool-Aid’ also refers to the opportunity for someone to embrace a particular perspective on something. So, in Cameron’s case, he is stating that ‘he drank his own Kool-Aid, meaning: he was able to use AJ for the first time.

@DaDawg, I personally love the idea and concept of how ‘simple’ AJ is compared to other job posting sites, such as Monster, and CareerBuilder. However, you can not really compare AJ and Monster because, in my opinion, they are two different markets. AJ is simply wonderful because it has the bare necessities to post and find jobs, and none of them extra bulk features that others have.

But, I am sure if AJ decides to go with resume posting, Cameron will carry on the ‘simple’ concept to it as well.

11   Michael ~ 12 April 2007

@Michael Dick, I’ll go along with that, although “eating your own dog food” usually refers specifically to using your own products or services.

Then there’s always “making your own gravy,” but I don’t think that applies here.

12   Cameron Moll ~ 12 April 2007

I’ve always been tripped up by idioms anyway. I’m going to stay out of this argument…

13   Shane Guymon ~ 12 April 2007

Yeah I saw your add on logopond the other day, I thought I saw another one on another site as well…

Anyways it took me awhile to find some people with the icons on icon buffet, but it was good, cause I haven’t been to the site in awhile, and I didn’t realize all the upgrades and changes they made to their site, and so I totally updated my profile, and went and found some friends, and got some good icons sent my way, now I jsut have to wait for some more tokens…

14   Josh Williams ~ 12 April 2007

I’ve also heard the phrase used:
Sniffing the poo on your own shoes.

Of course, you can insert your term of choice in place of poo, but in this case it’s irrelevant. AJ is definitely Kool-Aid, not dog food or poo.

15   R.Bhavesh ~ 13 April 2007

I m one of those first 15 candidates. :) but congrats to Dale Cruse.

Cameron, AJ really rocks. but how about a brief blog post in here mentioning.. from how to create your resume to how to apply etc.? That would certainly help us win the gigs/jobs for which, we are really capable of.

Long live AJ :).

16   Ted Goas ~ 14 April 2007

Camron, I’m not really sure what you meant by the title of this post. I clicked on the RSS link expecting something different.

17   gry ~ 17 April 2007

Fantastic article covering some points I really needed some good usability info for.
Best regards from Poland

18   Icons ~ 19 April 2007

Great icons

19   SysPro Technologies ~ 27 April 2007

Hey Cameron !!

Great Article, AJ really rocks, its a great path for the freelance designer and developers, i should say its one of the best websites that would help.

SysPro Technologies.

20   Eric ~ 06 May 2007

Cameron, I am a long time reader but a first time poster, and I thought that perhaps this thread would be a good time to say thanks for the great work you’ve done with AuthenticJobs.

I recently landed a great full time position through your site - the kind of job I’ve been casually searching for for well over a year.

When AJ launched, I had a feeling it would prove an invaluable resource, and in my case, it surely has. Quality over quantity indeed!

Thanks again,

21   Programm ~ 08 May 2007

i love the icons!

22   Cameron Moll ~ 08 May 2007

Right on, Eric — congrats!


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