Jul 27, 2010

Creating Online Content and #socialrecruiting

The newspaper The Hindu has an alarmist take on social networking and job hunting called Gossip to eternal regret

Yes, we are in the Wild West world of social networking - and using our earlier models of thinking - and it will take some years to figure out how to make sense of this data that is being generated. An NYT article says that the web means an end to forgetting. While the print medium existed - only things about the important people used to be preserved for posterity - and never at the reach of a mouse-click. The digitisation of data and information about everyday people like us will mean something profound - and we'll realise that in some years only.

The Hindu article says:
It is a mindless exercise in inanity. Getting into social networking sites, feeding the ever hungry digital blank that asks you “What's on your mind”, “What are you doing.” You feed it and it asks for more and more, finally you feed it something to your eternal regret. As information from Facebook, Twitter, Orkut and blogs swamp our collective lives, it is proving to be a treasure trove of information for recruiters, hirers and online job search companies.

The crescendo of information has reached such a state that recruiters are weeding out potential hires on the basis of the information, just as employees are being weeded out based on their social networking updates. Apocryphal stories are aplenty. “We had this person who was just out of college who would call up and say he is ill, but by afternoon there would be status updates about how the lunch with the friends was and by afternoon how good he was at network gaming. He would post his top scores to cheers and jeers by his friends,” says an HR person at one of the big five IT companies.

It is not that young people are unaware of the changing scene. “It is really difficult to create a profile that is not so – you. Every bit of the profile has to be you, right from the information that you keep updating, to the photos, to the friends, to the groups you like. You cannot hide information and you cannot be not doing what young people are doing,” says Divya, who works in the media.

There are two ways in which people would react - a few people are content creators - and which status updates and photo-uploading via Facebook has made the percentage increase - most people are still content to consume and respond to content that the few create.

As for the author who claims :"it's a mindless exercise in inanity" I'd like to point him to Clay Shirky's views on LOLcats

The range of creativity is not limited to the civic-ly valuable actions. But even if we take Lolcats and we stipulate, as the lawyers say, that this is the stupidest possible creative act… the stupidest possible creative act is still a creative act.

Doing something is different than doing nothing.

But creation of content is - I believe- just the first step that we are taking. The next step that people would take is creating and nurturing their own online communities and tribes - to bring people of a shared interest and passion together.