Digging Into RecruitingBlogs.com v 2.01
(Jan 02, 2009) I'm entering this new year with a problem. These days, more than half of my communications are through social networks like RBC, Facebook and Twitter. More natural and less formal than freestanding email systems, each tool has its own utility and its own idiosyncrasies.
Twitter offers a flow of really fresh professional information tinged with soft personal identifiers. It's sort of a news feed and coffeehouse rolled into one. I pay more attention to people who give value and gloss past some of the other stuff. It's like a permanent river of the left hand column of the old Wall Street Journal. It's getting better for interpersonal (one to one) communications but most people don't manage their @s very well (a direct message is sent with a tweet addressed to @username).
Facebook has a better internal mail system. It has great event management tools and lots of nuanced ways to communicate with known entities. As long as you have a relationship with someone on Facebook, there are an enormous number of approaches including chat, commenting, and email. Simply being someone's friend exposes you to their output. Communicating and network maintenance are an easy extension of watching the feed. The internal email system is pretty reliable (though some messages get lost) but it is a background piece of a deeper narrative. Email on Facebook doesn't have the immediacy and urgency of Outlook or Gmail.
Periodically, I visit LinkedIn. In theory, I have "beelions" of connections. I have mastered the art of accepting invitations to connect en masse. Trouble is that nothing actually happens there. My LinkedIn email box is full of notes from people wanting something from me. My personal takeaway value is exactly Less Than Zero. As a massive resume database, however, LinkedIn has no equal. As a step away from the databases of old, it's miraculous. For business development and hard scrabble networking, it's less effective.
I spend a fair amount of time here on RBC. I have more friends on Facebook (friend me) or Twitter (follow me). But RBC is where my home is. It's the right blend of friendship and professional connection. I love the goofballs, the hard chargers and the community minded barn raisers. Where the other services provide networking, news and slices of friendship, RBC seems to deliver home-iness. The email system here is wretched. I get bombarded with stuff that doesn't matter and therefore lose some important things. Much of my professional email happens through the RBC system.
I opened a FriendFeed account the other day. The idea is good and the execution interesting. What I found was very absorbing. Some of my friends on Twitter, Facebook and services I didn't know I had friends on were communicating with each other through comments, notes, likes and intra friend feed commenting. But, somehow, the very people I wanted to keep track of didn't make the grade. And, there was no way to inject RBC into the mix. Friendfeed offers a very compelling information flow but it leaves out big parts that I want.
Here's the problem.
I can't figure out how to streamline my communication process. I'd like a single interface for some of the things I do on each of the systems. I'd love to hear stories about your experience with this sort of information overload. I wasn't all that good at email to begin with. Now, I'm dropping too many balls.
The email forwarding systems don't work. I know that I can get it all forwarded to outlook or email. But, most of those notifiers are worth way less than zero. My email trash bin contains thousands of notices from he services. I want the meaty stuff only and all in one place. I want my response to go back through the system.
In Recruiting, we tend to operate at the edge of technology. I know that I am not the only one with this problem. I'm sure that some of our RBC family have developed really elegant solutions. Let me know what you're doing.