Buttons and Aardvarks

A few months ago I stayed up late past 2am to watch the Facebook F8 conference and was awed by the simplicity of the idea around creating a social semantic web with an open graph and easily distributable buttons across the web to usurp links on web pages as the defacto sentinels of the web. I wondered at the time how easy the implication would be and at what rate this new index could be created. The answer to that seems “much much quicker” than was first taught looking at some of the latest adoption numbers.

Buttons are very much en vogue and we are set to see a lot more. After an internal leak this week from Twitter it looks like they are going to launch soon they’re very own set of “buttons” as early as today, see here to learn more.

Google Me” , Google's next attempt at a global social networking platform, seems to very much also a reality after an internal presentation from a Google engineer also got on the web exposing some of the opportunities in social networking for Google to capitalise. Only time will tell if Google Me is a real project, which it probably is, and what type of buttons Google is going to unleash on the world. Google Profiles will be central to whatever they do and it will be interesting to see what percentage of their time they dedicate to getting into a friends and influencers arms' race with Facebook to create a recommendation index versus creating a business social graph to create a business recommendation index which LinkedIn are probably much more poised to capitalise on considering the wealth of data they currently have, the recent acquisition of Mspoke that brings in some recommendation index and data analytic skills in house. The race for buttons has only started.

So how could all of this affect the recruitment industry here in Ireland. Let’s look at at a scenario.

Say I am culchie Ciaran from Carlow (btw: I love Carlow) just made redundant and am searching for a “software developer” job in Dublin and want to make the move up to the big smoke for some capital punishment. Some of the things I would consider are: searching some job boards; studing the press; getting in contact with some agencies; maybe going into PaddyTech in LinkedIn and seeing what jobs are there and possibly even updating my profile in LinkedIn and posting on my Facebook wall to say I’m looking for a job, ecetra, ecetra. I’d probably then set a few hours aside to get in front of a browser and start searching for a job using Google. Let’s say I type in [ “software engineer” jobs Dublin ] to see what gets coughed up, which will be an agency and job boards results: 


All these are the highest ranking organic listings from Google’s index for the keyword search I did. But to what degree do they go to solving my job hunt and what other information would I like to know that the search engine can't provide me with.  Now how about instead of typing into a search engine, I went out an asked the question to my friends in Facebook, and colleagues in my first degree network in LinkedIn. How would I begin to even do that. Well I could post the question on my Facebook wall, or on my LinkedIn profile or even in a LinkedIn group possibly. What I would get is a few reposts or comments from some close friends and colleagues. Which in itself could be very useful information. But let’s imagine I could get a glimpse of what everyone in my networks was reading, or commenting on, or posting questions to or “liking”. Now let’s say for a moment the “like” button, evolves and people in my network could tag the type of likes they like! The good folks who create buttons may come up with some functionality which allows me like a computer related topic. Maybe these button makers have just created a whole new data construct with recommendations or likes with tags for a whole plethora of services and a plenitude of products. All becoming nicely categoriesed. Maybe then it evolves a little more and geo-coordinates are added, so I can like a product, service, etc to a location… it’s now getting a lot more interesting. Maybe if culchie Ciaran asked the question and this time, if the people in his network, adjust their privacy setting to allow him to, he could see other software engineers in his network who have job hunting related information, he might be able to see what books they were looking at, what agencies they liked or job boards, who or the major jobs bloggers for IT in Ireland, what jobs his network find interesting! Bingo – culchie Ciaran may have hit the jackpot!

This naturally brings up all types of privacy and competition and even pure self-preservation debates but these are the type of discussions we are going to be having this decade. These are the conversations Mark Zuckenberg is having internally with his development teams in Facebook in San Fran. All over the dinner tables in Ireland a lot of us will be having similar debates during the coming years. We are very much in the decade of connectiveness and the biggest debate of the decade could well be privacy and who knows maybe buttons and strange animals like aardvark?!

To learn more you should think about coming to one of the up and coming Irish Recruiter's events.