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It is better
to not be on
the web than
to be on and
not know why

John Sumser

is more
it seems.
John Gall


The Electronic Recruiting News is a Free Daily Newsletter For Recruiters, HR Managers, Advertising Agencies and Clasified Advertising Operations

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(June 02, 2000) The name game, as you remember, leaves us in titters and giggles. Over the years, we've watched perfectly good brand names (and associated traffic) trashed as a new CEO enters the game. Hard won company images have hit the trashcans in short-term fits of "I'm gonna make my mark." At the same time, we've watched companies outgrow the usefulness of their original concept. In this heated entrepreneurial atmosphere, it's not a surprise that the name of a company becomes a critical issue. We're surprisingly conservative on the subject. Until recently, we couldn't think of a case that worked.

Yesterday, we were slouching around in the long-sleeved t-shirt from the newly named "Cruel World". (Okay, we wear the freebie shirts we get every now and then. The CruelWorld shirt is particularly good looking and the long sleeves help in San Francisco's widely variable climate.) A young man, who happened to be in the neighborhood, said "My Dad named that company".

"Oh, that's right, it's a new name for the old, uh," In that moment's hesitation, we realized that Jeff Hyman, the CEO of CruelWorld, had hit a home run with his new name. We couldn't remember the old one.

It's our first evidence of a renaming that really worked.

- John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.


(June 01, 2000) PR works. Although it is typically mangled by most practitioners, PR that is designed and targeted correctly can have a powerful impact on business and traffic. Great PR pitches a story; it doesn't announce another self serving alliance or product release.

We know because we're buried in a sea of bland Press Releases.

Mediocre PR may build a drumbeat of momentum behind a company for some stock market analysts. It's modestly useful for keeping track of the endless piles of "trophy" partnerships that are accumulating around our industry. For the most part, however, the drone of thousands of vanilla press releases has a cumulative negative effect.

Here's our impression of the bulk of the Press Releases we see.

(Insert Company Name) Announces The Launch of CareerBordello (or some equally uninteresting name)

June 1, 2000 Bumphug, Nebraska

(Insert Company Name) is pleased to announce the launch of its flagship job board, CareerBordello TM (or some equally uninteresting name). After six days of intense technical development, the team at CareerBordello TM (or some equally uninteresting name) has produced a job board that will revolutionize the Internet Job Marketplace. By allowing job seekers to view a database of jobs, CareerBordello TM (or some equally uninteresting name) allows 24 hour a day job hunting. Employers who advertise on CareerBordello TM (or some equally uninteresting name) have access to the Internet's largest single pool of passive candidates.

With an unparalleled focus on privacy, CareerBordello TM (or some equally uninteresting name) offers passive job hunters the ability to submit their resumes to a variety of employers without having to visit the post office. The new website opened its doors to millions of hits (mostly generated by the hundreds of graphics files on each page).

Joe Beannie, President of the Bumphug, Nebraska Chamber of Commerce said of the launch, "Both of the members of the Bumphug C of C hired all of their recent employees using CareerBordello TM (or some equally uninteresting name). This service is the "as" in Nebraska."

CareerBordello (or some equally uninteresting name) was founded in early 2000 by Steve and Joanie Beannie, dotcom entrepreneurs from the land of no dots. Long term residents of Bumphug, Nebraska, the couple works part time at jobs they obtained during the development of CareerBordello (or some equally uninteresting name).

- John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.


(May 31, 2000) The rapid emergence of peer to peer computing (radically distributed file sharing and processing) is much more surprising than the copyright fuss surrounding the subject. In a very short time, the use of software like Napster has spread like a virus around the high schools and colleges of America. Focused on the distribution of MP3 files (downloadable high quality music), the technology is usually overlooked in the ongoing debate about copyright law.

The technology (as simple as installing server software on every desktop) allows you to act like a full node in a network. When Napster is engaged, you can download music files. At the same time, other users can download files from your computer. The result (besides the copyright brouhaha) is that roles around the net are being redefined.

The somewhat hierarchical structure of the current net assumes that at least some people do not have servers. With Napster (and similar programs) the notion of a series of peer (equal) computers at the user level is beginning to emerge. The traffic problems resulting from this dissonance affect the very design of the net. In current usage, the result is traffic blockages and extraordinary bandwidth demands.

Heralded as a logical (and unstoppable) extension of the Net's design for the free flow of information, we think that these emerging tools point to a very different kind of future. Embedded in current Internet architecture is the notion that some computers are destinations while most are not. That core assumption gives rise to the commercial structure we see today.

Any patient observer notes the similarity of today's constructs to pre-net patterns. The big sites are like TV Stations or programs. Any realistic prognosticator knows one thing for certain. The current structure is as likely to survive as winged bicycles were to dominate the aerospace industry.

We are, as we keep chanting, at a point of departure. The current structure is as impermanent as anything you've ever seen. While we're still waiting for the first open source job board, we're down the road in imagining the consequences of distributed computing. Given the low level of investment in real search technology and industry structure, one easy way to solve the search problem is to have multiple computers handling the problem. We wonder if the major job board and Recruitment software providers have considered a future in which their clients are unidentifiable clusters of shared computing.

It's hardly unrealistic.

There is an emerging marketplace for the acquisition of all of that computer power you don't use. The big projects these days solve more important problems (like cracking DNA) but, as the approach matures, there is no reason that a group of friends couldn't share the real processing problem of wading through all of those jobs.

At the point that a Napster or Gnutella for jobs emerges, a marketplace for lots of small suppliers will accompany it. Interestingly, this may be the biggest reason that the job boards decide against participating in the evolution of standards. Once those standards emerge (in theory), the job board's ability to predict and control its market evaporates.

Soon, as a market entry strategy, someone will release a freeware tool that acquires job listings and submits a resume to each one the tool discovers. Their ultimate strategy? To sell the notion of paying an agent to deal with the response stream. The consequence for job boards and trench-level recruiters? Massive data overloads because their systems assume that this can't happen.

Distributed processing and file sharing is a discontinuous change that is already visible on the horizon. We'll fill you in as it emerges in our market.

- John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

Herbie the Job Bug

(May 30, 2000) Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, we are awash in a tide of New Ideas, be they philosophical, musical, artistic, or business-related. The swimming is exhilarating, but the undertow is wicked, and the current can easily overwhelm. Hypothermia then sets in, and what may come across as an arrogant and jaded world view to those who do not wade with us is in reality a sensory overload. On occasion something pricks through that numbness, and we are reminded why we take the plunge.

Recently an Idea drifted past our little tide pool that splashed us good.

My takes a concept as old as the wheel: advertising on cars (buggies, wagons, chariots, whatever...). What is different is that this company doesn't own the cars on which the advertising appears; they pay people $350 to $500 a month to use their own vehicles as mobile billboards. Using the same process that turns buses into giant single-product ads, printed decals are custom designed for individual cars. The results are inventive and eye-catching; unique roving sandwich boards. Prospective participants must live/work in an urban area or drive an average of 29 miles per day.

Consider the amount of individuals a single car will encounter going to and from work in any major urban area during a work week.

This presents a number of interesting opportunities for recruiters. Most obvious is establishing and reinforcing brand identity using a small fleet of cars (or even a single car), at costs below that of traditional advertising. Instead of expensive TV and Radio ads, thousands of impressions can be generated during peak commute hours without fear of channel flipping. Numbers can be tracked by including easy to remember URLs (e.g. Those numbers can be used to map the effectiveness in various geographic areas, providing potentially more marketing information than "number of clicks" data from banner ads.

More exciting is the use of My as a recruiting resource. Client or company needs 20 IT positions filled over the next few months? Contract a couple of cars with IT Jobs in bold graphics along with contact information. That could generate a buzz and response that average job board listings cannot begin to compete with. Companies representing freelancers can use the vehicles to similar effect, driving (ouch) traffic to their sites.

There is no denying the gimmicky nature of My That said, an effective gimmick is first and foremost effective. The labor shortage is real and not going away. Recruiters are struggling to generate quality candidates. A service such as My RealCar, used in a creative and strategic manner, could easily become a valuable addition to a Recruiter's arsenal.

Plus, buying a car for your college-bound kid could now be deducted as an advertising expense.

- Ingmars Lindbergs

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Materials written
by John Sumser
© TwoColorHat.
All Rights Reserved.

Mill Valley, CA 94941
415.377.2255 (V) 415.380.8245 (F)
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