This is purely my opinion, however I feel that the participation levels and the general activity on this site has decreased over the last month or so.

Is this just in my head? (JD you'd have stats on this yeah?) Or is this what happens to Social networking sites when we have to work harder to stay ahead of the game.

I am a huge fan of this site, and check it out as often as possible. Knowing I will learn something to continue my value add to my company and myself somewhere.

However if this is what just happens when things get tighter in the market, are the value in these sites real? If they are really valuable surely activity, questioning and discussions would go up? (Maybe not the blogposts as they do take time and real effort to continuously post.)

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The overriding question relates to the value of a community of action. I belong to several recruiting and HR associations and in the wildest days the conversation and debate never reaches the levels we achieve here. Achievement here is measure on professional and personal levels: Professionally, everyone who enables themselves to do so will learn; personally, I cannot imagine my life without having met many of the people I've come to know through the this and other related sites.

Ebbs and flows hit everywhere even here. Great content will drive action and we have great content here. But I too see the difference between common conversation (best ATS?) and radical conversation (sourcing is dead?); add this to the economic challenges and you get slow periods.

What I would like to see from this site are real stories of action - or job search; both are of value. I'll add one today - a search I'm conducting here in NYC. Please add yours; we'll learn from each other and heck, you never know when someone here is the beneficiary.

Just don't go silent.
I wonder if any of what you're noticing (and I'm noticing it too, on my other sites) has to do with people leaving the industry. I think this is more the reason than a lack of interest - we had a discussion in the February 26 MagicMethod Phone Sourcing Classroom Chat - it starts around 1:02pm and includes a remark that in the last recession 80% left the industry! Almost a month ago I remarked that it felt, to me, like maybe 30-45% had already left and that seemed to meet some concurrence in the classroom - what do you think and what does it take to go the distance these days?
Dan, providing site stats will never bridge the gap between your perception and my reality.

If you are seeing a shift in participation it could be any number of things including:

1) A softening economy -- look at the number of "community activists" [not just on RBC] who are now looking for a job, resetting priorities and, who knows, leaving the profession

2) The distribution of readers across other sites where the content is being regurgitated, republished, cross-posted and flogged to death. Thankfully on RBC there is not shortage of original content, original thinking and lively discussion

3) Sometimes the social web and its usage evolves faster than some sites can evolve. Look at the chat session, the twitter thingies, live feeds...RBC is a portal as much as it is a potting shed. It is a work in progress. Sometimes as things change they don't appear to be the same as they were before. And even when they appear different, it might only be to you!

Dan, try this for a week. Turn your computer off. See what happens.
I have been able to come here less and less due to the market. As in - I have been swamped! My desk has become so HOT lately I've been focusing on my day job. When my choice is a.) Talk about our profession or b.) Practice our profession - I'll always take b.

I do enjoy hanging out here when I can. As the pendulum swings in our field - companies are going to need recruiters and (sorry to say this.......) lucky for me I have far less competition than I did last year.

Life is good.
Ami, I'd struggle to turn this off for a week, I enjoy what i see, read and learn here. I am an addict (that said I have a holiday booked in April, that'll test me out)

I won't go silent Steve, promise, now we opened that flood gate, hard to shut it up. I like your idea too, have an idea on that brewing. Although I looked at some other "similar" sites and could not have been less impressed, the interactivity cannot match what is here. (it is actually my first check each day)

I was recruiting when the IT bubble burst and saw the "clean out" of a whole lot of people who were in recruiting for the quick buck, and not for the profession that it is. That said it will be inevitable that people's businesses will come under pressure from lots of angles, I sat in a Management meeting today fighting over a variety of unpleasant things.

During previous downturns, these forums weren't around (that I was aware of) so it is interesting to me. I'm still getting used to this sharing of information so openly myself, over here, this idea of sharing is still viewed cautiously. Will people be more cautious when the competition is fiercer?

Steve's idea will add real value to the RBCiverse, as it changes gears from a candidate scarce to a candidate plenty environment. It is a real challenge for those who haven't been in such an environment before, and I really see it as important for support and hope to be given, so people know there is light, and things are still possible, and this too, shall pass.

I post a little here, but still am indebted to everyone else who posts who have helped me grow, and find more ways to add value to my company and myself
Ain't that a fact!

Jerry Albright said:
I have been able to come here less and less due to the market. As in - I have been swamped! My desk has become so HOT lately I've been focusing on my day job. When my choice is a.) Talk about our profession or b.) Practice our profession - I'll always take b.

I do enjoy hanging out here when I can. As the pendulum swings in our field - companies are going to need recruiters and (sorry to say this.......) lucky for me I have far less competition than I did last year.

Life is good.
There is no doubt a core group that visits and posts every day....ahem.... but I think its actually a platform issue with this Ning implementation - Jason pinged me to say he is working on something- the flow goes by, but there is no way to keep the quality or interesting stuff seperate from the not so interesting stuff- thats why Sumser's thread picked up hundreds of comments- it was stying on the front page and top of mind.....

OTH, I expect 40% of the TPR industry to fade- thats what happened in 2002-2003.
Hey Dan,

I'm finding that I've got less and less time to be trolling the discussions, adding my comments and writing my own posts too - but Jerry and I have the same - very fortunate - problem, it's due to the activity exploding and the resulting need for attention to my day job. We all love the interactivity of this site, but there is no doubt it's easier to be here more when things are slower. That being said, I don't mind a quick kick in the you know what to get me moving again because it's best not to forget that the real value in your contributions may never be known, as there are so many folks looking for insight, who's to say mine or yours won't be the one that makes a difference!
The overwhelming majority of members will never contribute anywhere, RBC, ERE or which ever networks they belong too. Forget the market/economy; it’s a personal preference. I strive to be the best and won’t stop until I’ve hit the ultimate big biller status, and at that point, I won’t stop because I’m just so freaking addicted to this game. I myself belong to roughly 20 Recruiting/Talent Management networks. RBC by far pumps out the best quality period. I still read the others via readers and RSS, but each day you can bet I am on RBC.

There is a core group that runs the content daily sure, but I most of the time find that the 1 off contributor has the best insight, and that’s the value hear. I can call the big names any day at their office and chat. Their propaganda is everywhere, most of it very good and intriguing, but it’s the other 100 contributors a day here that make this site dynamic.

In the end, RBC is responsible for creating new jobs for many of us, whether it be through shear motivation or an eye opening experience through content.

All 16K members won’t contribute and that’s fine. 6K won’t remember they joined, 6K will lurk, learn and eventually contribute, and the remaining 4K will contribute at different times making RBC the best spot to grow.

Ok, I’m done.

But in the end, I agree with you that the activity among many site are down. I think the overall problem here is saturation.
I have definitely been spending less time here and for me it is due to work load and business conditions. I believe RBC is tremendously valuable for a lot of reasons and the fact that my time here has been less has been on my mind. I do agree that the industry shake out is also having an impact. We all have to do business first, but I do think RBC is can be important to the success of many people in the business. I have also had the feeling that on the other side of the economic downturn we will look back and many of the people we knew in the industry will be gone but that many of the people left are the people we see here.

Todd Kmiec
Todd Kmiec & Associates

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Agreed - Business first. It's funny, I hear a ton of talk about business dropping off. In these times, recrutiers can make some really good connections and filly some great roles. The times are bringing great opportunities for me.
I'm really happy this conversation is taking place. Thank you Dan for bringing this up.

This feedback is invaluable and it's coming from people who's opinion I value because you all contribute regularly and regularly pay attention to what goes on here. Thanks for that.

I have a lot of ideas about the stuff being said and if it's ok, can I wait until tomorrow before I respond? I hope there is a lot more feedback here to take in.

Thanks again for bringing this up.

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