We care about technology-enhanced human systems. So we thought we would share regular thoughts and opinions about why we think they matter so much.
The guys over at MyLongLunch (who look to "harnesses the power of online community to connect the advertising industry") come through every once in a while and ask me to cast my critical eye over a site or job board that has caught their eye for their (often irreverent) weekly newsletter. Here's what I made of this site: Soooo Ã¢â‚¬â€œ this weekÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s challenge from the MLL crew was to really get down with the kids and review a site called www.wikijob.co.uk (not to be confused with a job board to recruit 6ft 11Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ hirsute bipeds (WookieeJob), a job site for employers in a Somerset village famous for itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hole (WookeyJob) or the .com wikijobs variant that you can buy at a snip for $25,000 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ oh, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll take 3 please!). WikiJob is Ã¢â‚¬Å“designed to let students and graduates find out what careers, employers and interviews are really like. It is the first candidate focused graduate recruitment website and the largest graduate job search community on the internet.Ã¢â‚¬Â Well Ã¢â‚¬â€œ you gotta expect a grand claim or 2 when youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re talking websites. LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s start at the beginning shall we. A wiki is a Ã¢â‚¬Å“page or collection of Web pages designed to enable anyone who accesses it to contribute or modify content.Ã¢â‚¬Â The best known is of course Wikipedia Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and if you still donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know what IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m talking about then either ask your secretary who printed this off for you to read to explain the concept or else go straight to the bottom of this piece because this isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t going to get any easier. This site has been going for about a year IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m reliably informed and with unique user numbers touching the 100,000pm mark this is becoming one of those Ã¢â‚¬Å“ignore at your perilÃ¢â‚¬Â type sites. So whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s it about? Well basically itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a focal point for people (well Ã¢â‚¬â€œ graduates & undergraduates - and theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re like real people, just generally newer) to impart their knowledge about companies and/or tell of their experiences through the various recruitment processes they encounter on their adventures. This then has grown into a self-supporting community with a career seeking bent that, at break neck speed, has developed into a valuable Ã¢â‚¬Å“between the linesÃ¢â‚¬Â resource and virtual meeting place for keen job seekers. The site isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t pretty Ã¢â‚¬â€œ but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not meant to be. If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re like me and wanting to meander through it to review then itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s all pretty bland, but IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m nowhere close to target audience and the value/relevance lies in the content. Now if I was a graduate looking for what I can really expect from submitting my application to XXXX Corp, wanted some real tips or wanted to see behind the carefully crafted marketing front thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s so skilfully created (by the likes of me) to find out what the job might actually be like then this is what IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d really want to read. I could so easily slip into the usual Ã¢â‚¬Å“the web today is a conversational not a broadcast mediumÃ¢â‚¬Â, but suffice to say this kinda site is the epitome of the former and in short generating the kind of user generated content, true community engagement and therefore probably reach that established publishers would kill for. It doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t currently have any advertising model (although thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s about to change Ã¢â‚¬â€œ so if youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got any budget for 2008-09 grad recruitment left I think youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d do a lot worse than giving this site a pop (consider it more an educated bet than an outright gamble)), but thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s only part of what you should be doing with such a site. If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re in anyway responsible for a client whoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s recruiting grads, and you may have to help them with this, then they need to be listening, learning from and ideally partaking in any conversation thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s taking place about them. You/your client may feel itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s too hard to do so right across the web, but with 100k potentially relevant candidates a month (and their user breakdown ainÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t half bad either) coming to this site then the nice people at WikiJob have created a focal point where a significant amount of relevant internet chatter is in one place for you to start getting with the web2.0 programme. I think wikijobs.co.uk is a clever move by Edward & Chris (founders) and has tonnes of potential. Starting with the web2.0 aufait student and grad community was of course the only way to start Ã¢â‚¬â€œ but surely turning it main stream is the next natural step in some shape or form (although whether theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d be able to rise to the magnitude of that challenge without some serious VC backing is something only time will tell). And for those who have been in the job board game for quite a while - I think theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be looking at this site (if not just the URL) in a couple of years and wondering why they werenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t able to come up with this and take it to market first themselves.