Although the Connect.Me beta has been in testing since August, we finally opened it up to the first batch of users from our beta invite list on Tuesday October 17th, opening day of the Internet Identity Workshop.

We are excited to see people’s first reactions. Internet entrepreneur Jeff Stollman sent us this in email:

I found vouching for others to be engaging and fun. It is a very positive experience to “flatter” people whom you admire and respect.  It takes on the feeling of a game that is fun to play and has no losers.

But what we love most is to see social vouching starting to spread. This morning UC Davis microbiology professor Jonathan Eisen (@phylogenomics), a speaker at last week’s Compass Summit, tweeted to his 7000 followers:

Playing w/ connect.me (@respectconnect) beta – has great potential as a “reputation” social network shar.es/bDpZ8

Check out Jonathan’s Connect.Me page (http://connect.me/jonathan.eisen). We were blown away to see he’s already vouched for 48 others. (Note: you can’t see the full list unless you are logged in.)

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know how much we believe the web needs a socially-verified reputation network. It’s great to see it starting out; now let’s all make it really happen.

If you are on our beta invite list but have not received an invitation yet, hang tight, it’s coming soon — we are staging out invitations so as not to swamp the network. If you’re really impatient and just want to try it now, here’s what to do:

  1. Go to http://connect.me/ and register (if you haven’t already).
  2. Email the Connect.Me username you registered to us at requests — at — connect — dot — me.
  3. We’ll enter a vouch for you as an “early adopter” and notify you by reply.
  4. You’re off to the races.

Happy vouching!