Cool, I got my first certification votes last night! I guess some folks resonated with my minor rant about Freshmeat not respecting the early stages of the software development lifecycle.
I was starting to think, "Well, the idea here is cool, but it seems biased toward an 'In Crowd' dynamic..." As I poked around it seemed like if you and your friends 'ganged up' on behalf of each other that you could pile up certs and move out of the nowhereville of Observer status.
Sure, this sounds like 'Sour grapes' from a 'loner'/'outlier'... and well, I guess it is. But then an interesting thing happened this morning when I got some votes from kindly strangers...
Anyone that voted for me last night became a 'Who the Hell is that?' Quest for me this morning. I read their diaries closer than I had read diaries previously. I went to their homepages. I went to their projects. No, I didn't do code reviews. But I poked around enough to get a decent feeling for the person... and then I reciprocated with cert votes for them!
That's when I realized how deceptively constructive Advogato is... I am getting to know about folks that I would not likely come into contact with in my daily routine. It's like a 'neighborhood pub' for Open Source developers as opposed to a 'Certification Guild'. Sure, there is a great need for project-based, post-mortem, public 'trust' (competence) metrics, but there is also a need for this less formal 'buddy system'... it's like a 'Mixer' for the freshmen class, a social environment to meet and greet your peers.
Thanks, Raph, for sharing your sandbox with the rest of us!