Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Good Question from Sumser

John Sumser's take on the WorkZoo-Jobster merger/acquisition:

If networking for referrals was the promised land, why in the world would additional job content be required? Certainly, scraped job content is the exact opposite of what Jobster was peddling just a couple of months ago.

(If that link is dead or no longer showing the right article, try this one)

A Monster Punch in the Gut

Bad news for Monster's Government Solutions' QuickHire: DHS Scraps Web Hiring Vendor

However, in the formal "termination for cause" notification, Elizabeth C. Heitz, a contracting officer for Customs and Border Protection, said Monster had failed to correct problems: "The system failed repeatedly. Specifically, employees accessing the system were involuntarily exited from the system or were unable to access the system at all. . . . During the failures, the system 'froze' and then displayed an error message."

Saturday, July 16, 2005

More on Omniture

More in-depth thoughts about the Omniture deal from Daniel Primack on Private Equity Week in his weekly update, It's A Big Deal.

Company CEO Josh James says that the issue is one of flexibility. An IPO, he argues, could stifle Omniture’s ability to invest in sales, marketing, R&D, etc. To James, public=profitability pressure, and he doesn’t believe that he can build a market leader while always being concerned about moving from red to black (the company was once profitable, but currently is not due to the aforementioned growth initiative).

(Thanks to Chris Selland for the link)

Search Rankings - Tricky Business

From MSN Search's WebLog - New Operators Explained:

"We shipped 1.0 with the Link: keyword, which allows you to find pages that link to a single page, ala link:search.msn.com."

When you actually perform that search to see who links to MSN Search, the very first listing is for Viagra (or is that an ad? I can't even tell). And down at seventh is search.microsoft.com. It's nice that they've introduced the "link" operator, but for now, Google and Yahoo are better at it.

The same search on Google actually returns a list of sites that make sense. Yahoo's search is pretty darn good too: "link:http://search.msn.com/".

Nice to see the competition on the search front, but it feels like MSN's got a ways to go.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Yahoo's SMS Search

Just noticed the recently-launched text-message search feature on Yahoo.

You send a text message to 92466 ('yahoo') with a phrase or "quote yhoo", and you get search results delivered to your phone. It's a really great features, but Google's had this for a long time: Google SMS.

No word yet on how effective Yahoo's SMS search is in comparison to Google's.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

'Nother Deal

A's acquire Kennedy, Witasick

In the team's second trade of the day, the Oakland A's announced the club has acquired pitchers Joe Kennedy and Jay Witasick from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for outfielder Eric Byrnes, minor league infielder Omar Quintanilla and cash considerations.

I'm spent - Check out AthleticsNation for coherent thoughts. I agree with Blez -- These two deals today feel like a 'win now' kind of approach. I'm optimistic about the new guys joining the team and wish a fond farewell to the guys headed out.

Watching Byrnes' and Bradford's distinctive styles over the last couple of years has been fun, and I wish them the best of luck.

One Hour of My Life: Gone


Made it to Level 12 - 199,263

That is one tremendous time sink! I'd hate to see it get loose in the office...

UPDATE: Great tips in the comments here. (Don't peak until you've given it a shot.)

Investing in Web Analytics

Utah firm gets $40M boost

Investing in Omniture is almost like acquiring interest in an e-commerce index fund, O'Driscoll said. "Online retailers, banks and even media companies need Web analytical services to understand their customers. They just cannot run well without it."

Interesting take. All us internet folk sure do like getting our hands on as much data as possible -- And it's a pretty safe bet that our appetite for data will only increase.


Red Sox get pen help, acquire Bradford for Payton

The Boston Red Sox tried to bolster their struggling bullpen Wednesday, acquiring right-hander Chad Bradford from the Oakland Athletics in a trade for outfielder Jay Payton and cash considerations.

Notes from AthleticsNation and Catfish Stew. I think we're all waiting to see what happens next. As I (and plenty others) said a few days ago, "you're looking at 8 players fighting for playing time at only 5 spots (OF, DH, 1B)." There absolutely has to be another deal in the works, or we'll all be a wee bit disappointed.

As always, in Billy we trust.

Addictive Online Games

This morning, Marc posted this game -- and "kiss your morning goodbye!"

Oddly enough, an email from Shaft this afternoon pointed me back to another great one: Escape!

Kiss your evening goodbye!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Dream Jobs

"...your idea of a dream job changes over time." -Tom Colicchio, in a Fast Company piece on Dream Jobs

It's an interesting collection of thoughts from four people living their dream jobs.

Jobster buys Workzoo

Jobster buys Workzoo

With the WorkZoo acquisition, Jobster is the first company to integrate vertical search and social networking into a purposeful employment service.

Eh... I'm not so sure about that. Despite today's article in the WSJ that mentions companies using Jobster, the whole idea seems somewhat flawed. Marc's got a much more complete thought in his post, WorkZoo acquisition: not a good sign for Jobster

Amen, brother.

HotJobs' Official Announcement

MercuryNews.com | 07/12/2005 | Yahoo to `copy' jobs to beef up its listings

Yahoo's online job division, HotJobs, plans to announce today that it has taken the bold but controversial step of finding more job listings for its users by copying them off the Web sites of employers.

This new service first got attention last week, with a smattering of mixed reviews.

Joel Cheeseman says, "The job board model as we know it today doesn't work." Dave McClure, Director of Marketing at SimplyHired, also likes the direction of the new Yahoo!Hotjobs offering, but in the comments to Joel's post, he disagrees that this is the death knell for the big Job Board business, "I don't believe that Monster or CareerBuilder are going away anytime soon."

My own boss, Marc Cenedella (president of TheLadders.com -- the definitive source for executive jobs) weighed in with a couple posts:

-> "It is all well-meaning, but mostly misses the mark. This is not the death of job search engines, but is the death of HotJobs business if taken to its logical conclusion."

-> "Isn't it colossally difficult to get people to pay for the exact same something you're now giving them for free?"

-> "I feel bad for the HotJobs salesforce because it won't take long for recruiters to wonder 'why the heck am I paying for listings when I can them for free?'"

And be sure to check the comments section on this post from John Battelle's SearchBlog. With posts from Cheeseman, Cenedella, McClure and Paul Forster (co-founder of Indeed.com), it's a can't miss who's-who of job search gurus. The key comment there is from McClure, "great search is about RELEVANCE."

Overall, I'm not quite sure I like the new HotJobs offering. The relevance is lacking (thousands of paid listings appear before more relevant web results in many cases), and the threat to the core business must have the sales folks squirming in their seats. Tough to run a business if the heart and soul of the company isn't behind it.

Has anyone heard from the HJ sales force? How are they taking the news? Are any of the stars even there anymore, or have they read the writing on the wall?

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Nifty Little Project

Joel on Software - Project Aardvark Midterm Report

In a nutshell, you go to copilot.com and get an invitation code. You tell your uncle to go to copilot.com and type in that same invitation code. You each get a little program to download and run. When you run the program, your uncle's computer screen shows up in a window. When you move your mouse, his mouse moves. When you type something, it appears on his computer. Etc. And now you fix the problem and log off, and peace is restored...

Neat, simple-sounding product that might be useful for helping your uncle troubleshoot his computer, but might also have applications for Customer Service folks trying to reproduce user-reported problems. Instead of asking back and forth questions over a series of emails ("Tell me what version of IE you're using"), a CS agent could simply connect to the user's computer, find all the answers they need and duplicate the problem easily. Or perhaps show the user how to avoid future problems.

Even more intriguing is that the product is being built head-to-toe by four summer interns. Fascinating stuff.

Learn more this coming Thursday if you're in NY and like wine, cheese and interns:
If you're in New York, come to the Project Aardvark Open House! You'll get free wine and cheese and you can pepper the interns with questions about sockets programming in person. The open house is Thursday, July 14, 2005, from 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM, at Fog Creek Software, 535 8th Ave., 18th Floor, New York.

Saturday, July 9, 2005

A's Logjam?

A'S REPORT / Trade reported with Boston swaps Bradford for Payton

Assistant general manager David Forst refused to confirm reports in Boston that the A's have completed a deal with the Red Sox that would send reliever Chad Bradford to Boston in exchange for outfielder Jay Payton.

If this deal does indeed go through, the A's would have Kotsay, Kielty, Byrnes, Swisher and Payton in the outfield. And then consider that the A's have Hatteberg, Dan Johnson and an almost-healthy Durazo for first base, and all of a sudden, you're looking at 8 players fighting for playing time at only 5 spots (OF, DH, 1B)

I have to think that one or more of those guys would ended up getting traded, maybe for some left-handed help in the bullpen? Or more pitching prospects?

Great News for the A's

ESPN.com - MLB - Kotsay signs extension through 2008 with Athletics

Mark Kotsay agreed to a three-year contract extension with the Oakland Athletics on Saturday, keeping the reliable center fielder with the club through the 2008 season.

Great news for the A's. Kotsay is a good, solid player - and he's fun to watch to boot. Congrats to Beane for re-signing him.

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

The Elevator

Thanks to Jimbo for passing this one along.

An Amish father and son went into a large department store and were astonished by almost everything they saw, but especially by two shiny, silver walls that could move apart and then slide back together again.

The boy asked, "What is this, Father?"

The father (never having seen an elevator) responded, "Son, I have never seen anything like this in my life, I don't know what it is."
While the boy and his father were watching with amazement, a fat, old lady went up to the moving walls and pressed a button.

The walls opened and the lady went inside between them into a small room. The walls closed and the boy and his father watched the small circular numbers above the walls light up sequentially. They continued to watch until it reached the last number and then the numbers began to light in the reverse order.

Finally the walls opened up again and a gorgeous 20-year-old blonde stepped out.

The father said quietly to his son... "Go get your mother."