Digging Into RecruitingBlogs.com v1.30: Predictions

Digging Into RecruitingBlogs.com v1.30: Predictions

(Dec 19, 2008) As the year winds down, prognosticators all over the world run their greedy little hands together. Now is the time for impressive feats of crystal ball gazing and hearty forecasting. Since no one has been speculating about the future of RBC, it seems like a good time and place to get the ball rolling.

I'm going to give you ten predictions about social media, Recruiting and RBC. I encourage you to disagree or forecast some of your own weather. I'm reminded of an old saying, "The best way to predict the future is to make it."

Like life, these predictions are contradictory.

  1. The Economic Climate
    January's news will make this fall look like the good old days. Companies who were too kind to do a holiday season layoff will clean house by mid month. By the inauguration, newspapers will be selling at record breaking levels. Then someone will notice that the only place where the news is really bad is in the media. Lots of recruiters will get dislocated next year (but that's because of the changes in recruiting, not the economy.)
  2. How Many Friends?
    The tension between exclusivity and popularity will increase for high volume networkers like Recruiters. More and more often you will hear stories of people who stop networking in their private lives. Keeping the personal and the professional distinct will be understood as a virtue. (Sadly, I won't be very good at this new trend)
  3. The Network Is Mine
    These days, the basic notion is that the network is ours. We are the community. Ownership of the community comes in two flavors, formal and informal. Formal ownership involves the ability to terminate or transform the community from a structural standpoint. The informal ownership are the people who make the community lively and active. At RBC, the two overlap pretty well. If you look around, economic stress is causing some very generous people to start extracting their pound of flesh from the community. As the example gets set, people will come to understand the community as a series of overlapping entities. Each of us are at the center of our own universes. Ultimately, the shift from "we" to "I" will hurt the sense of community.
  4. I Own My Own Network
    It's easy to imagine everyone having their own Ning account (or equivalent). It makes some sense to consider an organization that is contribution based. Those who contribute more get more back. By building gated Ning communities, we could each control the flow of value from our own networks to RBC and vice versa. Each of us will own our own toll road into the community.
  5. People Will Go Rafting In The Information River
    Although Twitter is flawed, the phenomenon is not going away. RBC activities will decline as members try to deal with info flows from the 1,000 people they follow. Ultimately, the survivors will flourish by cruising the waves of information. Very strong social connections can be leveraged using Tweets.
  6. Defriending
    I have thousands of connections on LinkedIn. That makes it my own personal resume database. It also makes it unlikely that I will build warm relationships there. The places where I have really strong relationships will involve prioritization. So, you can expect to see a movement towards network exclusivity, particularly in the over 40 crowd.
  7. Email Dies Quickly, Traffic Falls Off, Aggregators Rule
    No one can really keep track of all of this crap. FriendFeed, which does an admirable job of aggregating the river, will start to look more and more like outlook. You have to be able to take the information out of reverse chronological order if you want to do something with it. Once the short communique (tweet) flaws in accountability and distribution are fixed, Email will be on its last legs. Mine already is.
  8. All Business Models Fail Because They Involve The Use Of Relics
    We simply don't know how to think about this stuff yet. Inevitably, we wrap old ideas around our new experiences. Advertising is on its last legs. The most perfectly customized ad is the precise information I need. So, every aspect of mass distribution will be wrenched from the advertiser's hands. It's going to take a little whle for a groundbreaking community like ours to figure out how it pays for itself.
  9. The New Definition Of Friendship Starts To Emerge
    Lots of people are talking about the lack of nuance in the space between contact and friend. I think there is even more variance in the idea of "types of friends". You can jump start a strong relationship quickly with social media. There is no name for that. In the long haul, this is all about how we spend our attention. With a relatively finite quantity of attention to spend, prioritization will continuously try to be the issue.
  10. Slouching Will Be Ruled Unconstitutional in Two North American Countries
    Obviously, this is the most important trend. It's related to the legislation requiring mandatory jail time for 50 year old white men who make gang signs. Recruiters seen in black stocking caps (uh, how come I never got one?) will have 30% shaved off their fees. The next RBC fashion trend? Suits and paisley ties.

So, those are my ten. What do you think the next year will hold for the business, social media or RBC?

Views: 92

Comment by Jim Durbin on December 21, 2008 at 5:08pm
Pound of flesh indeed. Good points, and I'll add/extend where I stand.

1. Network monetization: The problem with saying that everyone owns the network is that not everyone benefits from it. Most communities that are started lack a guiding hand from someone with the organizational and inspirational ties to bring good content in that isn't purely self-promotional.

Jason has now done that at least twice, and using different mediums. Replicating something like RBC in other industries or in the recruiting world just isn't easy. Thus when most people think of monetization, they think of advertising and some kind of pay for play model. You give info to the Talent Talk Cafe, you sell products, something like that.

That's not how it works. The value for us the members is in the connections we make. This is true for all networks. Thus pockets start to emerge inside the community where extensive value is being transferred back and forth between recruiters, vendors, and pundits. What is going on gets harder to track, but the vitality of the network and the overall economic good generated increases. I can safely say that if an individual finds their niche in this community, they will be able to extract value. And the reward for keeping the site from becoming spam central is the direct monetization from advertisers.

2. How to's abound: The use of RBC, including the best uses for specific subsets of recruiters, are necessary Right Now. 15,000 is too many to manage, and the fragmentation of the community only works when strong voices step up. The opportunity for the next Dennis Smith, the next Harry Joiner, the next Jason Alba, and the next Maureen Sharib is right in front of you. If you have something to offer, now is the time to do so. First-adopters have an advantage, but RBC is still young. Carving out your area of expertise by showcasing how you succeed will enhance the value of the community and your own personal brand.

3. Slouching will be ruled unconstitutional, but with global cooling starting to rear its ugly head, 90% of Canadians will find themselves wearing stocking caps indoors, and a riot will break out. It will be a polite riot, mainly a bunch of kind men and women standing around asking what the government is going to do "aboot" it, until a Mahdi figure arises from the masses, who is known only as the Animal. The rest is too scary to contemplate.
Comment by Steve Levy on December 22, 2008 at 7:44am
JD, I agree with all but the latter part of point 3: I'm pretty sure that we won't see a Mahdi figure rising from the masses because it is known that the embodiment of the Animal must abide by the Kashrut.

However, the souls of those on RBC do await resurrection in Gan Eden (Garden of Eden). Prior to reaching Gan Eden, there is a soul-cleansing place, Gehinnom; when one reaches Gehinnom, s/he is assured of being prepared for the - if you prefer the term - resurrection.

However, there is a critical relationship between the body and soul that must be considered in terms of the religious rite of slouching. The Sanhedrin speaks of a blind man and a lame man. The lame man sees the delicious fruit in an orchard but can't reach it. The blind man can reach it but can't see it. The lame man instructs the blind man to carry him across the field, giving direction to the fruit. The blind man agrees, they advance into the orchard, and take the fruit.

However, the angry orchard owner appears and questions them. The blind man says, "I couldn't have taken the fruit - I can't see." The lame man says, "I couldn't have taken the fruit - I can't walk."

The wise owner thinks a moment and forces the lame man onto the shoulders of the blind man. Finally together, the owner realizes he found his culprit, so he beats them both.

The body and soul must work together but in a manner befitting recruiting resurrection. In the parable noted above, it has yet to be determined who is lame and who is blind but nonetheless, while I disagree about the Islamic connection, I do know that two Canooks, one soft spoken, the other loud and annoying, hold the keys.

It is critical that we figure this one out...
Comment by Maureen Sharib on December 22, 2008 at 10:04am
It has all the markings of a "Take Back the Night" campaign.

Comment by Steve Levy on December 22, 2008 at 10:10am
For the mysogonists in the audience, Maureen is referring to this.
Comment by Jim Durbin on December 22, 2008 at 5:44pm
Knowing Animal as I do, I can promise you that he's not a Muslim. In fact, I believe he's a mainstream Pedestrian.

Most of us pick this cult-like religion up when very young - it has something to do with our immortal soles. The Greeks would put their gods up on pedestals and put wings on their ankles - in modern times, we tend to take our faith more in stride.

Animal particularly enjoys exercise in poor weather. He once told me that "windlyness is next to godliness." You probably know more about the pedestrians and their history then you think. I believe Titian did a companion piece called the Sacred and the Mundane. He was of course referencing the pedestrian nature of the uh, pedestrians.

I'm not one to judge, but I can tell you if you walk a mile in a man's shoes, especially the Animal's shoes, you'll have a deep mystical connection to the hordes of Pedestrians out there.

Some say there is no one right way to love God, but there is no doubt that there is surely only one "Right of Way."


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