1. Have a look at their best posts. http://www.aiderss.com will help you identify those, and help you find what others have said about them.
  2. Figure out how long they've been around.
  3. Get a feel for their online presence: Google their name, check out his microblog / social bookmarks collection / tumblelog . If they're on FriendFeed it's a good idea to start there.
  4. See who follows them amongst the people you already trust. (Tips: check out his/her FriendFeed/Twitter followers; look him/her up on Facebook; search for his/her name in your aggregator.) If there are many it means you're late to the party. If there are none, you might have discovered a new gem! In any case it gives you an idea of where the person fits in your network topology
  5. Welcome them publicly if it looks like few people in your neighborhood know about them and they've just started but show promise.

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