First of all, the universe does listen, and while it doesn't precisely laugh at me, it does giggle quietly. Even while I was writing that post, I was receiving an email from someone who wanted to hire me for a short-term contract. And shortly after, a friend pointed me at a very interesting 3-month contract that may not quite be The Most Perfect Contract Ever, but is damned intriguing.
As for the meeting with the client, the short version is that yes, the contract is ending sooner than I expected. I'm not really certain whether I had misunderstood what she'd been saying earlier, or if things did shift out from under me, but it's only going to run a few more weeks. On the upside, she's taking the limits off of how many hours I can work in the next couple of weeks, so I can get a lot done before feature freeze.
Further on the upside, she made it quite explicit that she *really* wants to hire me full-time -- she didn't quite hard-sell me (which would have produced a negative reaction), but she was very frank that they have a couple of positions that could use a good Architect. They're not willing to do the consultant thing for the long run, but that doesn't mean they want me gone. When she asked for my salary requirements, and I said what I'm used to making, she didn't even blink. (Which probably means I should have added $5k, but I'm not going to worry about that.) So I'm having an interview next week, which has a strong flavor of me interviewing them: she asked me which people at the company I wanted to meet with, which isn't exactly usual for interviews.
On the downside, it forces me to make a high-stakes decision, and I always hate those. It's a good company, has a reasonably sound business model, and has good people working on technically interesting problems: there is no question that the work has potential to be fun, and it sounds like at least one of the projects fits my skills perfectly. OTOH, it has *nothing* to do with my calling. I can make a pretty good case that everything I've done in the past 15 years has been in some way associated with social media, and I kind of think of that as my career. This is interesting stuff, but has nothing at all to do with social media. I'm not sure I'm prepared to completely leave that field. And of course, I'm not willing to give up on the CommYou project.
We'll see where it all goes. I'm thinking of insisting on part-time -- something like 80% time, so that I have one day a week to work on CommYou. If I combined that with open-sourcing CommYou, that might allow the project to mutate in some practical ways, while still keeping the dream alive. Don't know if they'd bite, but I suspect that it would work well for both them and me, so I may push for that.
Regardless -- like it says, I really can't complain. Under the circumstances, having someone trying that hard to hire me is very comforting...