Dinosaurs are extinct but we (sourcers) never stop digging (the web) !


Ever wonder why archaeologists (Definition: The systematic study of past human life and culture by the recovery and examination of remaining material evidence, such as graves, buildings, tools, and pottery) and paleontologists (Definition – The study of the forms of life existing in prehistoric or geologic times, as represented by the fossils of plants, animals, and other organisms) keep digging in the dirt, studying all the fragments they find?

Because surprises never cease, because there’s always more to be found and the puzzle is never done. Simply put, many fragments make a whole picture. We want to know our past, so we can understand our present and build for our future generations.

As an online sourcer I have this innate curiosity to see what else is out there when I am on a search. Oh wait, here’s one more place to look, one more hyperlink to click on, just in case I can pick up a new clue. It’s pretty exhausting and tedious when you try to be meticulous and detailed, (talk about stiff necks, aching backs & cramped fingers because I don’t like to stop in the middle of the digging) but it’s priceless when you collect all the pieces and can present that final picture to your client – in house or external.

Did you know the internet is like an iceberg?

Iceberg You only find one-tenth of what is actually out there in the deep web. That’s the stuff you see sticking out of the water. And this too is sometimes difficult to uncover unless you leverage some good search techniques and have some understanding of Boolean Syntax. However, all the novices can breathe a sigh of relief as they don’t necessarily have to master Boolean since there is an emerging trend towards Semantic search & a ton of automation tools/spiders are now flooding the market. I’d say we’re still a ways from perfection though, plenty of tweaking left. But believe me, understanding Boolean and the basic search concept & web syntax is the foundation to using even the latest clickety click tool.

Ever wonder about the submerged nine-tenths? There so much we don’t know about the web. That’s where some of the meta search engines come in handy http://searchenginewatch.com/2156241

The web has its skeletons too and you can discover them at the Wayback Machine from the folks at Internet Archive. http://www.archive.org/web/web.php

This is a colossal undertaking by a very dedicated team. They are building this “internet library” to throw light on our virtual “digital dark age”. To preserve our virtual world just as much as we strive to preserve our cultural heritage and artifacts. How amazingly cool is that! Besides searching for archived material they have some interesting information. Quoting from a section on their site, “Around the World in 2 Billion Pages” – “The project was designed to take a global snapshot of the Web.” So when you can’t find something or think it might have been archived by the company or entity you were searching, look at what the Wayback Machine can do - “Browse through over 150 billion web pages archived from 1996 to a few months ago.” Oh joy! Now bear in mind this is a work in progress and there are some limitations. The archives are only from 1996. Nevertheless what a treat!

Here’s a fun exercise I thought of! You can also use the Wayback Machine to see the “evolution” of any URL. In fact, this site can help you see where you have come and gone, and since history has a notorious tendency to repeat itself, maybe there is something in the past on a site that may work well today? Like forgotten treasure, uncover names.

See the changes on the website of our firm AGResearch http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.agresearch.info

Or see how parts of the IBM website developed http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.ibm.com

Anyone for a “TAKE ME BACK” ride???

So there is no doubt we humans are curious beings. Always question the 4Ws – Who? Where? Why? What? And then ~TAA-DAA! Use your HOW expertise to mine the deep fathoms of the Internet.

And now you know why I care about Dinosaurs so much. They are gone, but the evidence is there. You just have to find it. Care to dig? (or Digg or if you would rather Tweet this post. LOL)

Views: 69

Comment by Slouch on April 15, 2010 at 11:42am
did you ever see this post here on RecruitingBlogs.com about the death of sourcing? It got 277 comments.
Comment by Ruth-Dinaz Sarkari on April 15, 2010 at 12:02pm
Tks Jason. U bet I had and almost fell off my chair when I read Sumser's comments. Great insight though. LOL But am in the sourcer's camp and what am alluding to here is the quintessential "need to find", the "passion for the hunt". People may be readily available but you still have to find them (on all the various places) and match them. P.S. Seems I forgot to post on this blog that I wrote this last Oct on our Corporate Blog site www.RecruitingArsenal.com. I have since then seen other refs to the Way Back Machine.
Comment by Sandra McCartt on April 16, 2010 at 12:02pm
Trust me when i tell you there are days that being an archeologist digging up dead things would far surpass working with the living. Since i find the terms "active and passive", candidates funny or silly or something due to the fact that at the moment a contacted candidate says yes they become active or maybe they were already and nobody knew it yet. Perhaps we should start calling the process working with live candidates or digging up dead ones. That's a joke so if you started to send me hate mail about that statement just laugh instead ...and think about it.


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