Who is/was Digg and what happened them, and what does their story have to do with staffing? Let me take you back a few years. It was 2007 and if you were in tech, you read Digg, a website that aggregated news stories around the web and rated them based on feedback from Digg users, presumably. Everyone read Digg, and if you wanted to attract venture capital well then you wanted stories about your company featured high on Digg. This quickly led to a frenzy of phony activity, not unlike what you see with other aggregators like job boards that scrape job ads and call them their own in pump and dump fashion.
I noticed Digg going particularly bad on a trip out to San Francisco cerca 2008 when a friend of a friend introduced me to ‘social media experts’ who, for a fee, would do whatever it took to get your story to rise to the top of Digg. I haven’t thought much about the difference between their activity and say that of lobbyists in Washington, but it all kind of stinks when you think about it. I’d argue even that the same lack of originality and honesty led to the demise of TechCrunch, another popular tech site at the time, although TechCrunch got out with a cool $25 million, not a measly $500k that Digg reportedly got.
There is more than schadenfreude – feeling good about someone else’s misfortune – going on here. We’re at the tail end of an era of aggregation. People are craving honestly, directness, and truth. Job candidates want to know about real jobs. Hiring managers want to know about legitimate candidates. They don’t want to have to sift though piles of fake job postings or irrelevant resumes either.
The job of a talent agent who cuts through the muck has never been more valuable.