The projects haven't been very big so far, but there's been some work which is always good. I've been hunting around on craigslist.org which seems to be the insider's job market at the moment, and responses to inquiries there have been far more positive.
Two years ago, I probably sent out > 100 queries, with specific targeted cover letters, to projects that I was qualified for. Out of all that effort, I think I got one or two automated responses along the lines of: "thank you for your submission, we have received your email and it will be processed in the order received ..." After about a month of that, I quit scanning the boards, got out my old phone list, and called absolutely everyone I'd ever worked with before. That got me a five month project, paying pretty well.
This time around its completely different. I get lots of personal emails, thanking me for applying. People that want to keep my resume on file even when they've filled the position. Personal notes from the CEO, saying he's looking at candidates. Callbacks. Even headhunters are calling.
Today was quite unusual, I had the headhunter call me three times. First to confirm I was still interested, then to check on general availability for a phone interview, then to call back with a specific time. Disney is taking months to fill this position, its pretty unbelievable. Mike (the headhunter) was explaining that they're too busy to do any hiring for the next several weeks. Gee, sounds like they need to hire somebody ...
Also did a phone interview with a poker site startup. These guys called me after I sent in a three page cover letter and no resume. It sounded informal and my response turned out to be appropriate. Ended up about 20 minutes me selling them and 30 minutes them trying to sell me. Lets see, no industry ties/experience/contacts, will have to build market share from scratch, business plan doesn't have clear exit strategy so no real VC interest, and no defensible differentiation. And they want me to work for a mix of equity/cash, leaning towards equity. Hmmmm.
Here's to a better 2004 and beyond.