And here’s my next review of a service called Skillpages which I joined some months ago and which is actually in the same or proximal space to ReferralKey.

About Skillpages

This start-up is based out of Dublin, Ireland and Boston, USA and aims at connecting people with skills with the people who need the same skills for a task or project.

Business concept

Allow people to leverage their networks to bring them closer to a deal by showcasing their skills in direct connection with an acquaintance’s profile.

The service

I can’t recall exactly how I ended up there and so am not sure how Skillpages is working the seeding of users and buzz stage but the social sign up for Facebook and LinkedIn on the front page along with PR is probably driving the bulk of it right now. The service itself is very slick and does much of what you expect it to. It’s also well laid-out and pleasing to the eye, most features appear to be placed logically with very little clutter in terms of communications or design. The similar users feature is rather good and seems to match based on location and skills. There’s a good feedback and idea generation loop on their co-create page which will build dialogue and the service. That’s a good signal of a company which will listen to its users and benefit from it. All in all, an excellent launch service.

What I would review or change

The opportunities feature seems like it could do with some retuning. I posted a Skillpage where I used keywords around online marketer and traffic but no opportunities appeared though by looking I could see there were some relevant ones for me. Also, see my comments below on Opportunities as crucial.

Rejig the communications around opportunities instead of viral signups as the first wave of users has been driven now.

It would be cool to be able to resync profile data from LinkedIn as otherwise I have to change my profile in two places if I change on LinkedIn.

The focus on networks and trusted networks seems a bit dated in my opinion. The users of a service like this already have the networks and they are in effect giving it to providers like Skillpages so they can add value. Where they can add value is in the opportunities, basically a kind of social marketplace.

In summary

A very strong first service with excellent user-friendly functionality. Certainly beats ReferralKey on some points and is ahead in terms of experience but like ReferralKey needs to deliver on the promise made to users.
The main thing I would focus on now is the opportunity flow. The first bulk of users is in and now value has to be created for them in order to make them stay, the primary method for this, considering the service, is driving opportunities which are relevant to the user base gathered.

Another observation is that because they are casting the net very wide and are trying to help networks of people uncover each other’s network of reliable helpers, they may run out of steam and not be able to offer enough value to many of those segments. It might be a good idea to do industry tranches of users and concentrate on jump-starting their use of the opportunities and then move on to other tranches as they get up and running. Another option here could be to focus on opportunities for webbies or one other early-adopter group and then figure out how to branch out into the next bunch of users.

There’s a strong team behind it that implies it should be able to build successfully on what it’s doing. I like it so far.

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20 comments
wibble
wibble

sadly i withdrew rapidly from skill pages as it soon became apparent that the "jobs" on offer were mostly not jobs at all but requests for people to work for free on various projects. I feel sorry for all the recent graduates who are sucked in to this.

LZ
LZ

Exactly the same thing happened to me. They sent email to all my gmail contacts without asking for permission. Very deceiving! It is a spamming strategy, not legit at all!

Joy
Joy

Kath, I had exactly the same experience. I never joined yet it sent invitations to all my contacts which is surely a violation of my and their privacy. For me any site that would participate in what seems to me to be illegal activity must be totally unscrupulous

Ynze Bakker
Ynze Bakker

Hi guys. I received the invitation also from a contact at LinkedIn. I am happy I read through all the comments BEFORE I clicked any link. Looks like it saved me a lot of trouble. Thanks again, and hope we can get rid of this site soon.

Chris Woodhouse
Chris Woodhouse

I received two email invitations from the same individual, whom I don't recognise! It was to my personal email address, which I have redirected to my personal Gmail address - and to that Gmail address. My guess is the individual is a friend of a friend and my email addresses have been harvested somehow. I shan't be signing up.

Kathy
Kathy

I got an invitation to join Skillpages from a friend. When I clicked on the link and read their blurb, I decided not to join and never signed up. Despite that,it sent all my contacts invitations to join Skillpages and stated that the invitation came from me. I had no idea it was doing this until someone told me. Bottom line..I never joined so the taking of my contact info was a huge violation of my privacy and that of my contacts! I have warned my friends not to join Skillpages or click on the link!

Matti
Matti

Skillpages is a mad email spammer! This is a major violation of Internet etiquette! It spammed all my contacts, It's even so stupid that it will spam the registered email in my Skillpages account! "yourname has just invited you to Skillpages!", unbelievable crap. I deleted my account, never look back.

Scott
Scott

This is a site to add to your blocked list on firewalls and proxies. skillpages spams users and harvests your contact list and uses it to send spam to them as you.

Ders
Ders

Two close associates just experienced the same issue as John Kast. It ended up in some serious data privacy issues. Additionally I received 6 spams (these associates never sent) on 3 email addresses I have and in the address books of the associates. We have some serious privacy issues with skillpages.com

Elaine
Elaine

It was a nightmare after I clicked on the "Skillpages" invitation from a friend. Near 600 people in my contact list have received "my" invitation without my consent. Then I had to send all the recipients another email saying "ignore" the invitation. It cost me more than 4 hours to clean up the mess.

Searcher
Searcher

well, i just got invited by them to click on a link and see what incredibly ood results it gvae me i live in singapore, clicked on the babysitter link and got this http://www.skillpages.com/listing/skills/q_Babysitter/Thiruvananthapuram-Kerala-India/0/0/1?AlwaysPostOpp=true&skill=Babysitter&utm_source=interspire&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=newfeatureopportunity2&utm_content=Babysitter lots of mustachioed indian men with IT skills, some good SEO CVs there, and indeed a lyricist, but... babysitting... nah can't believe they set out the email without actually cliking on the odd link themselves....

Karen
Karen

I'm sorry, but SkillPages is spam and nothing more. It is currently bouncing around all the professional outfits in my town today, and we in the IT depts are none too happy about it! DO NOT CLICK ON ANY LINKS! If your organisation gets hit with this viral spam campaign, block *@dynect-mailer.net. Blocking the senders address will not block this spam! And don't forget to block your users from going to the website! And good luck!

Paula
Paula

Agree with John . DO NOT JOIN Skillpages . And DO NOT click Outlook and install app!!!! If you do - everybody you ever emailed will get the spam - even your granny and auntie ... Stupid me - I got the 1st one from a new project participant , thinkin it's actuallu used to smthg. Be aware...

John Kast
John Kast

Do not join or use Skillpages! It causes spam which causes more spam. When you join the webpage (or use the app) it force you to send an e-mail (spam) to all your friends in your address book/friend list without asking you. And since your friends trust you they click on the link in the spam mail they get and they also end up sending a "Join me on SkillPages" spam mail to everybody in their contact list without asking. The SkillPages app is even worse and uses even more dirty tactics to spam and try to get users to join. The apps reputation is rated "Very Poor" and that alone should warn users about the company. It is not possible to close your SkillPages account! SkillPages do not remove you from their mailinglist if you ask them to! SkillPages sell your contact info to 3rd party causing you to get even more spam in your and your friends inbox!

gc
gc

I have found that SkillPages allows people to advertise themselves as "therapists" or "..ologists" without them having the credentials to support these titles. They also allow people to use aliases, i.e., not their real names. SkillPages does not respond to e-mails expressing concern over this or asking them to explain why this is allowed so I could understand the natur eof the site. Its pretty apparent from one person's page that they do not have the proper credentials, and I think SkillPages would hold more integrity if they did not allow this in the first place. Maybe SkillPages is just what someone I know called it "just a place to have fun". I'm sure the site works very well for many people, its been around a while, but I would certainly proceed with caution. I did not go to the site looking for a certain type of person, I only know what I do from the page coming up in my search for a specific type of doctor.

Tone
Tone

I posted around 20 web design job applications and I haven't received a single reply going back from many weeks. Not sure if people who post jobs on the site really look at it after they post jobs. If that's the case then they are rude and ignorant. Also, an important feature that SkillPages have left out is the job application post date, because I don't know when it was posted. Maybe a job was posted last year and I am therefore wasting my time and the job has been filled. Also people/companies that post jobs should let us know that a job has been filled and should be removed from SkillPages. This is an important feature and I am very surprised that the CEO does not have this in place. But overall I think it is a nice looking site with an opportunity to get or place a job, but it's just not working for me I'm afraid.

Michael Fowler
Michael Fowler

While editing a "Simply Hired" website keywords list I entered "experimental psychologist" and saw a sidebar ad for Skillpages appear. I visited their site and read Skillpages' Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy and thought I'd do a search on them when I ran across this review by Chris Mortimer. So, I'm writing this before I've actually visited the website. My search was due in part to paranoia and to amazement when the Skillpages ad included the term "experimental psychologists" as one of their job/skill categories. Although I have a Ph.D. in experimental psychology, I rarely even use that search term anymore. Few people outside of a psychology department have ever heard of it.

Lian
Lian

I just opened an account today and yes, i agree with you. it's pretty attractive and pleasing to the eye. but most of all, it is impressive in the speed with which it generates information or lists. just one tip, it would be more convenient if the "skills" list can be more easily re-organized.e.g. i cant seem to remove those that i already listed and move up or down items in my list. overall, it's impressive and i think this is one site i would like to watch around for sometime.

admin
admin

No probs Iain. Think it's a nice and slick service. Best of luck to you and team, Chris

Iain
Iain

Hi Chris, I'm CEO at SkillPages. Thanks for your review - some very relevant and fair comments. I appreciate you taking the time to review our site. Your review is very valuable info and feedback like yours is at the core of what directs in trying to improve the platform. Rest assured we'll take on board these comments and integrate them as we work to make SkillPages better for you and all our users. Thanks again Iain