There's definitely a lot to like about the new trend for niche job-boards.
- These are a clever way of GettingPaidForContent / GettingPaidForCommunityBuilding that goes beyond basic advertising, and makes use of some of the shared interest / ethos / community aspect of a good blog or project.
- In their narrow segmenting there's something a little bit LuxurySector about them too. I suppose HughMacleod could get into this game.
- In a sense this is nothing new. Traditional media also organize jobs around their ethos. Consider the MediaGuardian or Guardian jobs in social services section. However, this makes far narrower niches. (MicroChunks?)
- Some philosophies are more exciting than others. In this sense 37 Signals or Joel is more interesting than TechCrunch people are bound by a more definite (and individualistic) set of concerns and values.
- It's about the segmentation by personal philosophy (perhaps hard to characterize except by reference to the person)
** Who else could do this? Artima? ThePragmaticProgrammers? DaveWiner? BruceEckels? JakobNielsen?
** Could there be an aggrogate of slightly less famous tech. bloggers who could do this? BlogNetworks ? Actually, looks like 37 Signals is this.
- Of course, that highlights another amazing point. Traditionally it would be a media company with existing competence in making deals with recruitment companies who would drive this. Perhaps buying in the creative talent for the MagnetContent. In this case, it's the creative writers themselves who can make this happen. That's a huge media 2.0 change.
- In fact,it's probably not a good time to be a specialized niche job-board that isn't part of a voiced personal media outlet. Is it easier for the attention-rich to add a job board, than for a job-board to acquire the attention. (See also : TheAttentionEconomy)
- Another interesting issue. Something like TribeNet could've / should've been able to become the platform for this. Every tribe a recruitment board. Was it that the tools weren't there? Or the regularity of readership? Or the lack of advertising workflow that would let you advertise on a particular tribe? Or maybe the lack of personal voice that blogs provide?
In fact, it looks like Joel is rapidly re-invented the tech. job finding industry according to his own ideas and prejudices.
- In favour of programmers. His "must post the company name" policy is very popular and looks likely to do serious damage to traditional recruiters fishing tactics. http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2006/09/07c.html
- Good integration with the JoelTest (which http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000043.html) which) reminds me of PollsAndCompasses. But also is part of integrating new types of information (could be a MicroFormat) into the market.
- Heavily focussed on identifying the best companies and programmers (so is LuxurySector)
- Wow! And with 83 ads at 350 dollars, Joel is probably already doing pretty well out of this.
But step back a bit. What's going on here? Someone with strong opinions about how a particular market should work, and enough attention from the relevant people, can create a functioning new market according to their rules.
The communication technology is now so cheap as to be a negligible. Ideas + attention are everything.
So what other opportunities beyond job-boards might there be?
- I'm still intrigued by DesignOutpost. If Joel can have a Joel branded job-board, why not a Joel branded freelance project board?
- He he! I wonder if the GettingThingsDone cult really sold itself into companies as a corporate methodology? Could you have 43 Folders branded recruitment board for project managers?
** Or a SmartDisorganizedIndividuals one ;-)
- The other common branded specialized markets are for dating. The world probably isn't ready for a dating site branded by a programming guru, but there are some blog-niches where it would fly. I wonder if GawkerMedia have experimented?
BillSeitz sceptically thinks that even this might get pulverised into MicroChunks.
I'm chewing over the idea of buying AdWords next time, just on blogs (GooGle's "content network").
See also :