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In this posting Jeff quite reasonably lays out that SO users and employers should keep themselves separated and that SO careers works because it's a quality offering charging honest fees for a genuine product. I'm not arguing with that general ethos ... but should there be a special case for the small request from proven SO users?

If a contact approaches a trilogy user, knowing its their industry, and asks for advice on getting a bespoke app written. Obviously it will be one of the first thoughts: "there must be someone on SO able to do the job" ... but how to find them?

If it is a small one-off app (ignoring support questions), a $500 1-month sub to careers is out of the question. There's a budget, but that'll be a large chunk of it right there. A question on SO, even on meta, is obviously the wrong place, too.

So while my rep isn't the highest, I have been around here long enough to have proven my loyalty to the crowd, but also for the crowd to have proven itself to me. So how might someone go about making a personal connection, or a careers type search for a project or short contract?

NB this isn't a backward, thinly veiled, attempt to get someone to respond: it is a genuine question, albeit triggered by a real situation.

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If you have an idea of who might be suitable, why don't you check their profile to see if they have contact information. I know this doesn't help you don't know who would be suitable. – ChrisF Feb 5 '10 at 10:34
Exactly, it's a catch-22 - if I had an idea that they'd be suitable, I'd contact them, but I can't contact them without stumbling across them randomly. – Unsliced Feb 5 '10 at 10:54
Whats with it and the recent increase in the use of the word 'albeit'.... I swear I haven't seen that word for like 3 months and now its popping up all over the place. – Tyler Carter Feb 5 '10 at 16:47

There used to be an "I'm open to employers contacting me" option in the profile preferences page. Perhaps something similar could be implemented again for situations such as yours?

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What about the data dump? You can try queries on it to find users with many high-voted posts in the tags that are specific to your case. You can also filter by the location field if neccessary (although that's a free-text field, so would require some manual work).

You can also check if they have a entered a website into the corresponding field or if the AboutMe field contains an email address or a link -- which would be a sign that this person is open to contacts.

This obviously won't give you any of the data on carreers, but it might be a good way to start finding potentially interesting people.

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That could be an interesting project for me, although not likely of much success - but certainly finding people active in the kind of tags I'd need and then cross-reference to public CVs? It's an idea ... – Unsliced Feb 5 '10 at 16:37

I guess what you after here is not so much a Careers site (where long term Careers are on off) but a freelancing site, which I think would be a good idea, but it's a different paradigm to the Careers site. Most people on the Careers site I would expect to look for long term positions.

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True - but it would be a start! At the least I could search the local area for likely people, there are also contractors and so on. – Unsliced Feb 5 '10 at 16:36

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