It looks like I will be working with this group (a SecondLife developer) part-time through the end of the month (largely getting stuff set up, digging up info on various things, etc.) and then going into a 4-week "provisional" phase as of October 1st to see "how I fit" with their needs. I am going to be their PR/Marketing/Communications guy for both standard press, blog writers, interest groups, and SL in-world stuff. It is an insanely challenging assignment, as it is pretty much having to be "making it up as I go along", yet being judged in terms of my actual productivity.
We have, however, not discussed salary as yet. This could be the spanner in the gears if it's on the low end of my "guesstimate" scale (we'd be OK if it was at the mid-point of that scale, and hunky-dory if it was at the high end ... obviously I have no clue what they're actually paying), as we need to have me bringing in a certain minimum dollar figure for us to even consider staying in Chicago. I will still be following up on my job research in the Spokane market, just in case.
On the negative side, it's an hour plus (about 1:15) each way from home to their offices (requiring two El lines and a suburban bus connection). Frankly, I think that if I "stick" there (the money's OK, and both sides think I "fit", etc.), I'll eventually get to a "telecommuting" point, as what I'm going to be doing does not really need to have my butt in one of their seats. We'll see. I guess either that or I'll have to get a nice small laptop to use on the train (or maybe just sleep, which is what I did most of the way back this afternoon).
One "plus" looks to be that I'll be going out to the Virtual Worlds Conference with them next month ... which is very cool since registration for that is a bitch ($1k on-site!).
The main owner who I've been talking with (although they indicated that I will probably be working more closely with the other guy) has a very similar work history to mine (only ten years younger), so there was a lot of understanding about the "rough spots" over the past six years (he ended up being a barrista instead of a bartender) in my resume! These guys think that SecondLife (and environments like it, I don't think they're ultimately putting all their eggs in the one basket) is right now about where The Web was in 1993/4 ... an embryonic tool that will soon burst out into ubiquitousness. This, of course, was discussed variously at the SLCC07, and folks kept trying to judge just where in an ultimate growth curve SL was, with Philip Rosedale (the originator of SL) guessing a more "mature" (although still in the "early adopter" phase) than most of the other folks ... even though he notes that SL has taken off into being something way beyond what he had initially imagined. Needless to say, the potential for being in on something that is likely to be HUGE from the very start (and hopefully involved in a significant "player" in that growth) is extremely exciting, and is, frankly, one of the most appealing elements to this opportunity to me.
I think, however, that I will be coy about naming names until I am actually "on board" with them full time, as on one hand it seems to be the gentlemanly thing to do, and on the other (given the rather odd situation of the next six weeks), I don't want to "jinx" it!
It is amazing, though, to think that I may actually have a job!