Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Is Your Organization Hip?

Here's a great post from Guy Kawasaki where he interviews Kathleen Gasperini, an expert on the global youth culture.

After reading this, I gotta many organizations are staying in tune with this youth culture? And how many organizations are looking at these trends and applying them to their employer brand?

Sure, companies like Verizon, Levi Straus, or Burton all try to understand the youth culture in order to sell more products. But I haven't really seen too many companies that take this message and translate it into their employer brand.

Why is this so important?

Well, for one...these young people are the future talent force.

Two...these young people will begin to dictate markets in ways that previous generations never thought was possible.

And three...who else is going to fill the void left by the Baby Boomers?!?!

Ok, so points one and three were the same thing. I'm simply trying to hammer in a point here. ;)

My prediction: this youth culture will increasingly dictate the types of policies, cultures, and workforces that organizations create.

Because in the end, these organizations are trying to cater to this very youth culture in order to sell more widgets. And if that means transforming their culture to become one that exudes youthful optimism in order to create products that appeal...then so be it.

What will definitely be interesting to see is if some organizations try to meld two different types of brands under one roof: one that appeals to the youth culture, and one that appeals to the Baby Boom generation.

Even more interesting: research that shows how Baby Boomers are more likely to view themselves as younger than they physically are. I wonder if anyone will try to adopt similar tactics used for the youth culture on the Baby a MySpace for people 50+ years??? :o

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

How Brand You Has Changed

An interesting article from Fast Company that I came across concerning how things have changed since 1995.

And my oh my, how they have changed.

It wasn't so long ago that it seemed like Monster or personal web pages were the only means to create an online brand for yourself.

Now it seems you can't go anyplace on the web without getting smacked in the face with sites like MySpace, YouTube, LinkedIn, Ryze, Doostang, etc. etc.

Is there such a thing as TOO networked?

It'll definitely be interesting to see how things evolve as our society begins to get accustomed to this ever connected world we live in.

Monday, June 19, 2006

A Non-US Search Engine? What's That?

Interesting news from Tara Calishain of Research Buzz: it appears Japan is trying to halt the domination of the search engine market by US firms. Citing fears that having three dominant search engines may prevent Japanese companies from entering markets, a consortium of 30 organizations have banded together to "develop technology for a new advanced search engine."

Who's hopping onto this bandwagon? Hitachi, Fujitsu, and NTT Docomo are among a few of the organizations who are participating in this project.

It'll be really interesting to see if this group can come up with something significantly different than what is already out there.

I'm especially interested now that NTT is involved. They have a pretty good history of progressive thinking as it relates to consumer trends.

The most logical development I'm almost certain will develop from this project: a platform that will leverage wireless/cell phone technology for users. Wonder if they'll have suggestive search terms pop up everytime you walk past a kiosk or vending machine...?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Is There a Defined Search Experience?

Gord Hotchkiss has written an interesting article talking about how Google has established a "de facto" standard of sorts for the search experience. While I may not necessarily agree completely with Gord's analysis, he has some very interesting points.

To say that Google is soley responsible for establishing a standard in search experience is a little extreme to me (yes, I can't believe I'm saying something is "too extreme" either). I agree that they are the current thought and market leader in this area...and their ability to maintain this leadership will be tested in the coming year as other services begin ramping up on re-defining the search user experience.

Google's simple interface won favor with a lot of people...hence, it's current popularity. I think where the rest of the search engines have gone wrong is trying to mimic this interface. Rather than trying to create their own experiences, they've tried to mash the Google formula onto their sites.

If you want to become remarkable, imitating someone else is NOT the way to do it.

Which is why the other engines have experienced limited success to date.

Which gets me to thinking...Google has been getting a lot of hype lately about their recruiting engine. Now you begin to see a lot of organizations begin to adopt some of the same programs that Google has established in order to attract top quality talent.

But I ask again: is this the way to become remarkable? Is this the way to make people go "wow?"

Monday, June 12, 2006

I Have a Friend of a Friend...

Here's a site that was referenced in my previous posting. It's the Friend of a Friend network.

It encourages people to create web sites that utilize the RDF format so that computers can interpret them more easily. In essence, it's a movement that is trying to create the Semantic Web.

It'll be interesting to see if this thing gains popularity.

Note: for you aspiring Talent Researchers out there, check out the FAQ section of the FOAF site. Did you catch the first section talking about what home pages might "typically" say? Very handy phrases for keyword searching! ;)

So You Think You're A Good Researcher?

Hmmmm...I came across a very interesting article towards the end of last week courtesy of one of my brand new interns, Sarah Hewitt. Thanks Sarah...hopefully you don't mind being mentioned in cyberspace like this. ;)

So it seems that the NSA is beginning to become interested in keeping track of all the information on social networks that are popping up all over the place. Sites like MySpace, YouTube, LinkedIn...they're all beginning to pique the curiosity of the NSA.

What's interesting is that the NSA is trying to create a "universal" format for the web. The name: RDF (Resource Description Framework). Using RDF, the NSA (among other organizations) hopes that current incompatibilities in formats will be ironed out over the next few years. In short, the hope is that "one day every website will use RDF to give each type of data a unique, predefined, unambiguous tag."

Why the effort to establish RDF? According to David de Roure of the University of Southampton (UK), "It means that you will be able to ask a website questions you couldn't ask before, or perform calculations on the data it contains."

The implications of this development will probably leave people a little torn: on the one hand, it'll create unprecedented access to sites for scientists who want to analyze each other's experimental data sets. Search itself will be redefined with this new standard format. But on the flip side, it'll mean prying into more personal data will be a breeze.

I wonder: are recruiters going to jump up and down about this bit of news? After all, mining the Internet for its nearly limit-less data will become even easier. Or will they become concerned about the impact on privacy as a result of this?

P.S. If you're curious about what the heck the picture above is all about, click here.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Google vs. Microsoft

Google fires another shot...rather than be content with their share of the search engine market, it looks more and more likely that the firm is aiming their cross-hairs on Microsoft's software domain with their latest invention.

So what have they done? They've created a new spreadsheet application which is available for free in limited quantities. As with all new Google products, it's in beta.

So what's next, I wonder? A PowerPoint application? Google's already purchased Writely...

Think Steve Ballmer is looking over his shoulder more often nowadays?

Monday, June 05, 2006

How NOT to Interview

I'm in the midst of delivering training for some folks on my team this week, so I probably won't have as much time to contribute to the blog. Nevertheless, I'll do my best!

Below is a funny clip from YouTube (this thing is taking over the net) about how NOT to interview. It's a video created by the local Austin, TX government for their site. It's nice to see that even cities are beginning to ramp up on their recruiting efforts to attract high quality talent. Enjoy...

Thursday, June 01, 2006

McDonald's and the Future of Job-Sharing

Here's an interesting experiment that McDonald's is conducting at some select British locations: allowing employees from the same immediate family to fill in for one another without having to clear it with the store manager.

The "Family Contract" program is an effort to address absenteeism and turnover issues that McDonald's has always experienced.

Talk about a bold step towards something different...

...but it's not surprising to me. As we move towards a world where talent will come in limited supplies, and where retaining talent will be a vital key to success...I think we'll begin to witness more and more organizations creating some "radical" and innovative programs for their people.

It's about time!!!!!

On another note, check out the story about "Irate Shoppers" located beneath the McDonald's one. This is my exclamation point to a previous rant I had about a large retailer not caring about its customer service.

This is exactly why saving a few dollars over providing great customer experiences never equals a win.