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Animal Rights

(August 16, 2006)
The blogswap is an interesting exercise in really thinking about the work of others. Michael Keleman is, by leaps and bounds, the best writer of the lot. Although he usually prefers to execute comedy routines, his ability to see and articulate clearly is the basis of his sense of humor.

That's the way that it is with comedy.

In today's piece, Michael (who usually publishes as The Recruiting Animal) says very nice things about me. Underneath the respectful veneer is a clear-eyed view of what makes a blog work. A bit of pugnacious value softened by a compliment. Here's Michael.

The Blogging Spirit Is Alive and Well in the Recruitosphere
By The Recruiting Animal

When I think about blogs I define them as non-corporate, non--managerial, ongoing communications. The voice of the free-wheelin' little guy. The heirs of the fanzines.

But, I'm not as narrow-minded as that might sound. Three years ago, I was looking for a Director of Internal Communications for a large, international firm and I believed that a blog would have been a great way to let all 13,000 employees know what was going on.

I didn't expect the company blog to read like mine. But I didn't expect it to suck either. Because a blog has to have some life to it or else it won't be read -- except by head and job hunters who are forced by necessity to snoop through masses of dull information.

So, I'm happy to report that in my humble opinion, the Recruitosphere is still a living, breathing thing. And I've chosen to make this announcement today because I wanted to suck up to pay tribute to Papa John Sumser.

Why do I want to compliment John? Because, although his site doesn't look like a blog, he's a blogger in spirit and has been for a long time. And, the willingness of an industry fixture to indulge in bold, humourous criticism of the people and companies in his field reinforces the tone for everyone else.

Now, I didn't say Papa was always right. In fact, some people think he's a crank, inclined to act out his personal peeves in public. True or not, in blogging terms, that's a virtue. For, it's only those who are a little cranky who have a motive to shake things up. No one else wants to rock the boat.

So, let's say John is cranky; what could he be cranky about? Here's my guess. He uses the royal "we" but I think he's a militant populist. I know he was open to regular conversations with Jay-Dee Jason Davis when the latter was a stranger and complete unknown. And Anthony and I were pleased to be mentioned on his list of noteworthy bloggers in February 2005. Jay-Dee was there too but not the Microchicks. And why not? They were good bloggers but they worked for a big firm and my guess is that the honour was reserved for the little guys.

So why, then, did he go after JGo? Jobster was still new on the scene. But, maybe it seemed a little too cocky? It's possible, for a presumed arrogance was the red flag that led Papa to zing the Ma'am when she dismissed blog metrics with a wave of the hand. But, Papa's not the only writer keeping it real, only the most prominent.

Last week, Don JGo Jason Goldberg, king of Jobster, publicly taunted the boss of Indeed.com, in public, for not keeping his blog up to date. I liked it.

And, there's more. A couple of weeks ago I sent Louise Fletcher a blogswap posting which warned job hunters not to barf on their resumes. When I got a reply I thought she was sending it back but, no, she was thanking me for my delightful work. And, of course, the Dog Lady knows how to take a joke.

And, even the Ma'am -- who doesn't like to be mocked -- has the wherewithal to write about peanut butter on a business site. She's not built for humour but she's not really strait-laced either. There's also Colin the Snob and the Marketing Headhunter; they're funny guys and there's more coming out of the woodwork all the time.

Amitai Givertz of Recruitomatic appeared out of nowhere, well-informed and with a pugnacious streak I can count on every day. So, I'm just letting you know, Papa, that things are going well. Even as the virus spreads it hasn't lost its charm -- at least, not yet.

And, please, don't come after me for my critique. In writing this way, I'm only honouring you. (Amen.) And, finally, I'm not saying that the straight business writers are letting anyone down. Not at all. I'm only collecting examples of irreverent behaviour to indicate that the field as a whole has not yet been burdened by any staid, hidebound (life-threatening) protocols.

John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
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