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(July 26, 2005) Somehow, everyone believes that disintermediation only impacts the other guy.

Disintermediation, in case you've forgotten, is the tendency of the web (and other post-industrial factors) to reduce the role of the middleman. In the early days of the web, the flattening or organizations, disintermediation and broadly informed citizens were imagined as the long term benefits. In practical terms, disintermediation boils down to increased affordability of "printing presses" (as in freedom of the press belongs to anyone who can afford a printing press).

Disintermediation is the driving factor behind blogs, HR outsourcing and RPOs. In still other words, work flows to the least expensive (defined in dollars and hassle) place in which it can be done. It's the force behind desktop marketing, podcasts and the dramatic rise in communications options.

One key result of disintermediation is the flattening of organizations. Increasing devotion to a core focus makes most operations friendlier simply because they are smaller. Blogs augment this tendency by providing a gateway into the inner workings and tops of adaptive firms.

We'll note with pleasure, Jason Goldberg's response to our article on Jobster. As Cheesman points out, and Canadian headhunter satirizes, this could only happen in the post industrial world.

What's most interesting to me is that we now live in a time when a journalist faces the threat of a rebuttal for anything they write. Not too long ago, a critique by Sumser or any journalist in the media would have to go unanswered.

Not anymore. Now, blogging presidents and CEOs can strike back.

And as time passes, the readership on the corporate side of things could rival the journalistic side of the equation. Think Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban's blog.

Inevitably, all of this works to the benefit of both parties. Journalists can keep the fire going on a hot topic, and corporate entities can keep their name in the news. Nice free advertising.
-Joel Cheesman, Mano a blogo

It really marks the beginning of a real back and forth dialog in a circle of peers in our industry. Each has its function, the reality is flat and non-hierarchical. So, we could, as Goldberg notes, have a good laugh about the whole thing over the phone. No secrets in the call, just that we actually enjoy working together in the same industry.

Meanwhile, at the hall of organizational flattening and the home of disintermediation, something interesting is happening. Microsoft has sued Google over a hire. (Of course, Google counter sued). If we were  in their recruiting pipeline, we'd be expecting commentary from the Microsoft bloggers.


  • What will MS do if I am sued (as a candidate) for violating a no-compete clause?
  • What is the MS policy on hiring people with non-comp clauses?

Of course, the big company could resort to a "we don't talk about pending litigation" stance. But, the question remains. MS has tainted its recruiting pipeline; it has a mechanism for addressing the issue; will it revert to older forms or press on with the innovation? These are the times that determine whether a company is really committed.

John Sumser

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