2.0 Job boards and why Techcrunch and GigaOM don’t get it.

Michael Arrington over at Techcrunch and Crunchnotes has started a job-board. Why not, one may ask? He is an a-list blogger, presides over much of the what is cool and uncool in the Web 2.0 space, is a very interesting read and gets stacks of traffic of the sort that look for tech jobs. OM Malik has done the same, and Michael is a bit put out that they didn’t do it in partnership. He levels the lowest of 2.0 insults, the 1.0 thinking label, shudder, with the wall building double whammy blow. thump…

 I decided to have a look at the techcrunch offering first. There are several rather nice jobs advertised already, including one at Microsoft. (note to my employer I’m not looking for another job, this was merely professional curiosity) Michael has posted on the stats here.

Working in HR software for the last 15 years or so, and being foolish enough to attempt an HR related startup in 2000 (in this very space) I was intrigued to see what the high priests of 2.0 would provide as a job board. Me being all enterprisey and 1.0 I was expecting to be wowed by all sorts of web 2.0 stuff.

I was hoping for.

1.Feeds to enable posting from corporate and other boards. (HR-XML based), maybe even automated payment methods, price by click through options and micropayments

2. A simple application form tool, allowing applicants to easily enter CVs -resumes and speed routing to the correct recruiter. Maybe even with options to include your linkedin profile, your blog, myspace, or your opensource contributions. (perhaps exploiting some of the technologies developed for dating services?) Search widgets

3. A solid privacy policy, maybe with some neat anonymization features. (So that you dont find your current employer knowing that you are looking, or your data sold on who knows where.)

4. Reporting to show the value of 200 dollars a month. (number of reads, applicants etc)  perhaps real-time,  and open so I can drop the results into my recruitment system or financial application?

5. a cool and wacky 2.0 why didn’t I think of that thing “you enterprisey fossil?” moment

I didn’t see any of these. All I saw was rudimentary posting form, with the same old same old mail your CV to the recruiter, or worse head over to xyz.careers.com to apply.

Simply put it is very 1.0 circa 1997.

Michael commented, “I imagined an API for entering jobs, and an API for outputting jobs, that could be displayed anywhere” and also “Job boards are trivially easy to build”

If Michael had done just a  teeny weeny bit of research first, he would have seen that the open-apis that he wants are right there, ready and waiting.

There is a lot of work going on with open apis for job board posting, as most  in the HR space know. Check out HR-XML for details. There has been a XML standard available since 2000. This is used by many of the job boards and the recruitment applications to communicate between their applications. HR-XML is involved with the WS-I, the web-services interoperability organization.

There is much that can be improved in the recruitment process chain. After all finding a job is a pretty important thing when you don’t have one, or are unhappy in your current one. It costs employers a big wedge too. It isn’t trivial, otherwise it would be a whole lot better than it is.

I believe that web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 offer the potential to fundamentally reshape the recruitment space. How about resumes expressed in atom feeds, with maybe a soundbite or even video, embedded privacy policies perhaps leveraging DRM, pay on results….

This isn’t a 2.0 recruiting play. Pity, it could have been.

A simple job post board is easy to build, but the world doesn’t need another one. 

Michael would have been better served in partnering with a promising HR development crowd who understand the space,  or at least checked out a couple of cool recruiting related blogs like Cheezhead. 

I’ve recently discovered  indeed.com  and they have some v cool apis and widgets, firefox plugins, jobs by IM and trending.  they have an affiliate revenue stream. This is a pic of their typepad widget. From it you can search jobs on many boards.


How about looking up Jim over at Microsoft? He blogs up a storm on recruitment and really knows his stuff.

I had a look at OM Maliks site too, and much the same criticisms apply there. He mentions Linked in integration, but I’d expected more.

I look forward to the 2.0 versions, without walls. Leveraging your blogs to target recruitment is a clever play, but not in the way you have gone about it. Why not partner with an innovator like indeed or Jobster, instead.

It seems I’m not the only one who has doubts..


Job boardgasm


Enterprise 2.0 continues for now….

Mike Stopforth certainly started something with his wikipedia entry for Enterprise 2.0.

The debate about the validity of the entry makes for an interesting read, and it has given me a lot of insight into how wikipedia works. All that wisdom of the crowd business. For all the finger pointing at wikipedia, the process is transparent. My opinion of wikipedia is higher now than when it was first deleted.

If the entry is eventually removed, it will be after a through debate and discussion. Neologism is now something I have an opinion on. Dan Farber provides a good summary of the debate. Check out Crispy to follow how it develops.

Some of my “irregular” colleagues  have asked you all to go out and vote for the wikipedia entry on enterprise 2.0. The choice of the word “vote” was  inappropriate according the wikipedians, but their intent is a good one. 

The important lesson I’m learning from all this is that the term itself is not that important. I’m not a great fan of anything labelled 2.0, it has the whiff of prefixing with an e,  adding .com to a company name, or dropping vowels to seem trendy, but actually it is because someone else has the domain name you really would have liked.  I’d much rather we had a different term, but for now, it is the best one we have.  ( Peter Ripp has a funny take on 2.0)

For what? Well there is a shift happening in enterprise computing, and like any shift it is hard to define it when you are in the middle of it. 

Andrew McAfee’s original definition focused on the use of freeform, social computing in the enterprise. In his words,

Enterprise 2.0 is the use of emergent social software platforms within companies, or between companies and their partners or customers.

Vinnie thinks this is too narrow, and we need to look at the changes beyond the impact of just “social computing.”

I’m not sure which definition I like. McAfee’s definition is more tangible, and allows for co-existence with other enterprise applications, Whereas Vinnie is talking about complete change of all enterprise applications – revolutionary stuff.

But here in starship enterprisey I think we are starting to get the message. There are new forms of computing emerging, and they are having an effect in the enterprise space. I’m looking forward to seeing HR applications do org charting based on social networks inside organisations, and the email torrent ebbing to a manageable flow as wikis and RSS take hold behind the firewall. But, like Vinnie, I see another change coming, bringing a new set of competitors, new technologies and new business models.

I’d like to see the Enterprise 2.0 term stay in wikipedia. It is in a way, a counterpoint to enterprisey, which does have an entry. The way for the term to stick around though, is for it to get more traction in the real world. Whether the term enterprise 2.0 has staying power is for the wikipedia gods and the neologism factories at the analyst firms to decide.

The forces that Vinnie and Andrew discuss though, are already tangible. Companies like Socialtext exist, and the tools that help build web 2.0 are being deployed behind the firewalls as we speak.

Jerry Bowles commented in the delete debate at Wikipedia.

Enterprise 2.0 is an important concept that is (not?) going to go away simply because it does or does not meet the Wikipedia gatekeepers’ criteria for inclusion at this time. It represents the most important and potentially disruptive business challenge since the advent of modern management

After all the SOA plumbing work of the last few years, I expect this big SAP elephant to start leading the charge.

Wikipedia, Nicholas Carr, Andrew McAfee and Enterprise 2.0 nuked..

Nicholas Carr is currently infected with the wikipediaitis malady. It is a rare affliction, in that it creates an uncontrollable urge to mention wikipedia in almost every post.  I’m afraid that Andrew McAfee’s post from today may bring about a more widespread outbreak. I have caught it, and I expect it to spread rapidly amongst the Enterprise 2.0 community.

Wikipedia nuked Mike Stopforth’s entry on Enterprise 2.0. I thought it was a great start at building a useful reference source, and I was vaguely thinking of contributing myself. “I can’t cut the lawn, dear, because I’m adding to the world’s greatest knowledge store.”

If you look to the deletion discussion Andrew, you are the creator of a:

Neologism of dubious utility. I can find examples of it’s use online but there doesn’t seem to be a consensus on what it means other than “sort of like Web2.0, but businessy

This is a level of arrogance that even I can only dream of aspiring to. 

So other than a couple of articles in HBO and SMR, a good number of people talking about it, companies actually doing it, and people like Ross, who by all accounts makes a good living out of it, what does one need to do to keep an entry?

Oh dear I feel a long post about George Orwell and unthink and peasants and castles coming on. Help.


I see I’m not the only one that this irked…. Dennis McDonald has more.

And Jason too.