a realtime social feed where “users and developers come first, not advertisers”
If you look back over the last 60 years at who has made money in recruiting, you’ll see that it was often those who created systems around new ways to network better and faster. From the 1950s when Manpower and Kelly nailed telephone sales to the 2000s when LinkedIn ate Monster’s lunch via social media, it’s always been a game of finding the best way to connect and creating a business platform around it.
That’s the way it has been, and that’s the way it’s always going to be. So if you’re looking for hockey stick like growth with commensurate profits you have to be constantly on the lookout for what is new and what it is that you can build a platform around.
I see a lot of recruiters pointing to Facebook and LinkedIn as being the new things that are letting them connect better and faster. Indeed, we’re using them to find candidates and getting their back door stories more easily and faster than ever before. That’s all great and it’s helping business today, but can we build a platform around them?
Personally speaking, I am resolved to never write another line of code for rotten-to-the-core “platforms” like Facebook or Twitter. Lesson learned.
Alas, no. Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media wunderkinds Twitter included are platforms alright, but they are not our platforms. They are their own platforms, and as such they have stockholders who demand profits, profits that come from advertising revenues that depend on us as the product not as the customer.
So how can we win in this battle to create and maintain a profitable platform? I’ll preface this by saying there is no easy answer. The cutting edge is a bleeding edge as well. I stumbled hard on Minitel, a precursor to the internet in France in the 1980s. You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.
Neverthless, one possible answer I’ve been playing with is something called app.net, a realtime social feed where “users and developers come first, not advertisers”. Later I’ll get into how social feeds play a role in recruiting software, but for now I’ll end this post with a link to a write up by app.net’s founder, Dalton Caldwell, about his aha-i-will-not-be-facebook’s-bitch moment.
Here’s the link and my favorite line from it:
As someone that wants to build quality social software, software that doesn’t force users to re-create their friends list, or not use oAuth, etc., I have to endure huge platform risk. Personally speaking, I am resolved to never write another line of code for rotten-to-the-core “platforms” like Facebook or Twitter. Lesson learned.