Monday, October 29, 2007

How Employer Branding Should Look Like

Long lines in the middle of the night at the NYC Apple store seem pretty commonplace, apparently. What is the cause of these lines? The iPhone.

Even though the iPhone isn't superior in all ways compared to other phones like Blackberrys, HTC or Nokia's managed to create a cult following that none of them have ever achieved.

Which leads me to wonder: what's your company doing to create a killer app/product to attract the masses? Specifically, what's your company doing to attract the best talent out there? I'm more and more convinced that in order to recruit the gotta have a cult following. Like the iPhone.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

For All You Search Engine Geeks

Stumbled upon this humorous site that shows which keywords have more results vs. others. Creative and quirky...which is probably why I'm posting this to begin with. :o

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Google Might Not Be Invincible After All

Very interesting development here on the Google and Doubleclick deal.

If this deal falls through, you can bet Steve Ballmer will be laughing himself silly as one of his chief rivals experiences the bitter taste of anti-trust cases...

LinkedIn Introducing Photos...Seriously?

So this morning I open up my Google Reader to find a few articles about LinkedIn introducing photos starting tomorrow, Sept. 26. After blinking a few times to check whether or not my coffee had kicked in properly, I read the articles to discover a little more about the rationale behind this latest move by the professional networking site.

First off, LinkedIn is stipulating that the photos be "serious-looking" headshots...the kind that you normally see accompanying executive bios. Apparently the suits at LinkedIn are worried about degrading their website and taking away from the professionalism.

Second, it appears that LinkedIn is taking some measured steps towards opening up their site to the development community. But, much like the photo feature sounds like this is not going to be anywhere near the open community that the Facebook platform has created. Moreover, this initiative isn't going to see the light of day until Spring 2008.

With all this said, here's my take on this whole thing. The "serious" photos? How can one NOT think that this is a deliberate step towards creating a more sticky website in response to Facebook's growing popularity amongst the tech illuminati? LinkedIn's PR reps can talk all they want about how this is not in response to Facebook's increasing web presence, but I'm more than a little skeptical given the fact that LinkedIn's own co-founder (Reid Hoffman) said in August that "photos and business don't go together." Huh? What's with the turn around?

And from early indications, I'm not a huge fan of LinkedIn's cautious approach towards drawing in the development community through its site. If the new web has proven anything, it's that the sites which leverage crowdsourcing tend to flourish and grow beyond even the founder's expectations. Why? Because they're engaging. They're sticky. You need to be sticky if you're a networking site.

Like I've been ranting for a while now, LinkedIn needs to be a little more innovative and a little less serious if it intends on being around for the long haul. While these latest developments are a step towards that, I still feel like they're moving too slow while their competition moves a lot faster. With Facebook adding 200,000 users per day compared with 36,000 for LinkedIn, each day literally counts.

For right now, I'm leaning towards Facebook winning this war. There. I said it. ;p But LinkedIn still has some time to change my mind. Hopefully they do.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Riding the Insanity Train

So apparently I'm not the only one raising my eyebrows at the latest rumors swirling around Facebook and Microsoft. Kara Swisher of the WSJ (ironically the same publication that broke the news first regarding this odd marriage) goes even further by saying that this potential deal qualifies as a sign that the end is near.

But in all seriousness, she has some interesting points regarding the logic behind Facebook's proper valuation. I tend to agree with most of her points--although, I think she is somewhat underestimating the whole geek factor in Point 3. It's these same geeks that are capable of creating some major game-changing apps for the Facebook platform that will separate it from its competition, after all.

And her conclusion from all this, I think if Mark Zuckerberg manages to squeeze as much as $500 million from Microsoft's pockets...he should run. Run as fast as he can while having a giggling fit away from the tech giant after stuffing his pockets full of that cash. :o

Monday, September 24, 2007

Microsoft: A Case of Throwing Money at Your Problems

So apparently Microsoft seems to think Facebook is worth $10 billion. Yes, this after analysts gave the social networking platform a valuation of $4.5 billion a little over a month ago. According to the WSJ, Microsoft is in the early stages of talks with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg about possibly buying a 5% or less stake in the company worth around $300-$500 million.

I'm scratching my head on this one. Mark Zuckerberg, in the meanwhile, is laughing himself silly.

Microsoft hasn't proven too adept at taking advantage of the social web thus far--and this latest move has me wondering how exactly they would integrate Facebook's community into their own products and services. This is the same feeling I had when Microsoft purchased aQuantive back in May. Steve Ballmer really has some work ahead of himself in light of these recent seemingly disconnected moves.

But here's an interesting thought: the fact that Microsoft is even thinking of buying a stake in Facebook is telling on some levels. For one, it could possibly mean that Microsoft is still suffering from the halo-effect that Google has created on the Internet which has caused Ballmer & Co. to react (in some cases) very irrationally. Second, I wonder if Microsoft is in fact worried about Zuckerberg's aspirations for his exploding site. Earlier speculation had Facebook potentially becoming a next generation OS, if you recall. Is this Microsoft's way of keeping the enemy nearby?

It'll be very interesting to see how this discussion between Microsoft and Facebook turns out.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

We're on to you, Mark Zuckerberg!

Has anyone been keeping up with the Facebook media frenzy? Actually, has anyone been able to avoid any of the Facebook hype machine in the last 4-6 months? ...this is nearly analogous to how Lakers fans must feel about Kobe Bryant--it's nearly impossible to go too long without hearing something about the NBA superstar. But I digress. :o

So here's the latest in the whirlwind of activity happening within the walls of this social networking site: Facebook is taking a page out of Amazon and offering data storage to developers of Facebook applications. The news in of itself isn't too shocking; it's the most logical step in their evolution from niche social networking site to major Internet portal.

Internet portal? Yes...I truly believe that Mark Zuckerberg and company are devising a strategy to become THE Internet destination of choice. We're beginning to see the pieces slowly coming together. The first major move was releasing their API to the development community. Since then, we've seen a flurry of activity around the creation of applications on the Facebook platform. This in turn has led to a mass movement of developers to the Facebook community vs. other social networking sites like Myspace or LinkedIn (if you can even count them in this category).

And now this latest news about offering data storage to developers? Something tells me this is the second major move in a long term strategy that Facebook has up its sleeves. I'll talk more to this point in future postings.

But for now, I'll just throw this out there: what's LinkedIn, Myspace, or Xing doing? What about the job boards? For the time being, they're looking on the sidelines as Facebook races past them. LinkedIn has already stated that they will be releasing their API to the development community later in the year to early next year. But my gut tells me this is too little too late.

It's a classic example of copying a competitor's strategy as quickly as possible...however on the new web, this strategy fails miserably because the name of the game is innovation. It's about jumping from one S-curve to the next. Not riding on the tails of another model. And no matter how much LinkedIn believes that they are different compared to pure social networking sites like Facebook...let's face it: Facebook's strategy includes going into LinkedIn's sweetspot of professional networking.

Which means something has to give.

My bet? Without some true innovation from within, sites like LinkedIn are going to be looking quite out-of-date as new sites pop up...or existing ones innovate past them.

Which begs the question: are recruiters really following all this? They've become quite comfortable with LinkedIn's pool of talent. What happens when that well dries up because it's no longer popular (ala Xanga or Friendster)?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Yes, I'm Still Here

As the title implies, I wanted to let everyone out there know that I am still here. Although, if you were to gauge that based on my posting'd probably have a different conclusion. :P

So to make amends for not posting in what seems like forever, I at least have a new site to offer to those digging the new social networking trend that is taking over corporate America: digFoot. So what is digFoot? It's a directory of social networks around the world.

It's an interesting little site that allows you to find social networks that may not be on the mainstream radar just yet. From a recruiting perspective, it's also a great way to educate yourself on the networks if you're not at all familiar with them since the directory gives you a high-level synopsis of each site when you search.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Pass the Hatorade, Please

Just came across this interesting dicussion thread on Slashdot, and thought I'd share. Apparently employed IT folks hate recruiters.

I have to admit, reading through some of the ideas make me chuckle. Others made me a little worried about the sanity of the people that posted the ideas. :o

Friday, May 25, 2007

Facebook: The LinkedIn Killer

As some of you may already know, there's a big hoopla over what happened yesterday at 3pm in San Francisco. What am I talking about? The Facebook Platform Launch, an event that elicits comparisons to Steve Jobs and his keynote sessions for Apple (it's funny to hear other people say that Mark Zuckerberg was "channeling" Steve Jobs at this event...).

The most evident thing at this event? Facebook's undeniable ambition to become the #1 most visited site on the Internet...which also leverages its community in a manner that will allow it (and many partners) to build unprecedented services and applications for the semantic web. The most striking comment in this event? That Zuckerberg and company are "targeting Google next." Joking or not, I think it's safe to say that even making a comment like that speaks to their ambitions of taking Facebook to the next level.

So here's something I'll throw out there. Facebook is already stickier than MySpace and LinkedIn. The fact that they now have 70+ applications under way for the site only means they have the potential for getting more sticky as it expands its user base. Indeed, nearly 50% of its user base is 25 years or older. I can believe this statistic because I'm one of them...

My bold claim: Facebook has the potential of disrupting LinkedIn's model...and the model of many other social networking sites. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Facebook begins to play on the same fields as some of its other peers such as LinkedIn. What if Facebook created a professional networking forum within its site? It's feasible, given its current growth rate of non-college students...

For the time being, I don't think LinkedIn has anything to worry about since it has a handle on its demographic. But if they're not careful...and if they don't constantly innovate...I wonder just how much staying power it will have.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Digg Marries Monster...Meet TalentSpring

So I have this dilemma that everyone else has (at least, anyone that spends a lot of time on the Internet)...keeping track of the semantic web/social networking phenomenon. I swear, a day doesn't go by that I don't hear of at least 3 or 5 new sites that have "interesting" twists on current sites.

I only wonder how many of these have staying many of them are "sticky" enough to create communities that keep coming back. But it'll be a few years before we know the answer to that question, so in the meanwhile, here's a new site that has yet another interesting premise.

If Digg and Monster were to be mashed up, I would imagine the result would be similar to TalentSpring. Read on from Techcrunch:

Like traditional resume marketplaces, TalentSpring is database of resumes from those seeking work or looking for new employment opportunities. Where as tradition resume marketplaces are generally search driven databases, categorized by user submissions based on location, experience etc, TalentSpring uses a ranking system to rate resumes so that top resumes float to the top of TalentSpring whilst lesser resumes drop. Resumes are ranked by other job seekers. Upon signing up and submitting your resume, to have your details included on TalentSpring you must score 12 sets of other candidates in your own professional area. The voting system is a one resume or another proposition x 12. Users are presented two resumes side by side and must mark which candidate they feel is better suited for a position in that particular field. ...Costs for the service are highly competitive, starting at $195 for a single position with various unlimited use packages also available.

So...check back here in a few years to see if this latest site gains traction. ;) At $195 a pop, it doesn't seem like such a bad deal if TalentSpring can actually get a decent collection of resumes. Which makes me wonder: how long is Monster going to take before they roll out any Web 2.0 initiatives of their own?

Monday, May 14, 2007

This Isn't a Tribute to Star Trek...

So after months of waiting, I finally got my invite to Spock. It's one of many new "people search engines" that is debuting on the web right now. It's still in invitation only beta, so if you want to check it out you'll have to sign up and wait for them to come calling you.

I've been playing with it thus far today, and I have to admit, I'm beginning to believe their claim of having 100 million plus profiles on their site already. I've gone through a good portion of my own hiring team, and haven't found one yet that ISN'T indexed in this site.

On top of that, I've been giving it a run through with the current project I'm working on...and it seems to be holding up pretty well. Granted, it's far from perfect. Many of the profiles have only the most basic information about individuals (city, sex, company, title, etc.), so as a Talent Researcher one still has to do some legwork to uncover more information. But if you're just starting your search on a particular individual, it's a good start.

I'll be interested to see how this site evolves as it draws nearer to a "Go live" date. Until then, I'll continue tinkering around...and giving updates on my blog whenever I find something new.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Top Brand?

So apparently, the meteoric rise of Google doesn't seem to be slowing down all that much. A new research study on brands by the WPP Group has ranked Google as the most valuable brand.

The crazy thing? It happened in about a decade.

Just more proof that the business landscape is getting faster with globalization. As walls begin to come down between countries, communication across barriers becomes less inhibited. More communication...facilitated properly of course...often times leads to faster innovation. Hence what you see occuring with Web 2.0 firms right now.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Web 2.0 has officially gone...mainstream

It's pretty safe to say that once a "trend" has entered the ad-world, it's gone mainstream, right? After all, inserting something that used to be cutting-edge isn't so effective as a communication piece to the masses unless the masses understand the context.

Well, I came across this quirky and amusing advertisement (although, whether or not this is a real ad from the company is still up for debate) today, and just had to post it up on the blog.

...yes, I realize that it's been 3 months and counting since my last post. Let's just say that I have been extremely (and still am!) with so many different projects that I hardly get time to write anymore. :( Hopefully I can get back into the swing of things and start posting consistently.