Coworks is a new online talent marketplace with a twist. Instead of offering talent buyers a large number of potential hires like an Elance or oDesk does, it connects buyer and sellers of talent based on personal connections and recommendations.
"... provides freelancers and buyers with a unique online platform that takes the “word of mouth” practice, which has worked for so many years in the freelancing industry offline, and combines it with the power of online social media capabilities."
The site works on a referral model. Once you list a job, the website suggests contractors who've been recommended by people within your own network on the site.
I haven't had a chance to test the site, but it appears you can link it to your LinkedIn and Facebook accounts. This means you can check and see if you have an existing relationship of some sort with potential freelance hires.
The site was only recently launched and is still in Beta.
We find Coworks interesting on several levels. At the broad level, it's another example of how social is being added to many types of products and services.
Second, it's another example of the growing importance of online networks and reputation for freelancers.
And third, it's yet another example of the growing number and diversity of online talent marketplaces.