Wednesday, March 15, 2006

One Small Innovation One Giant Leap for Blogs

I just finished reading a white paper about blogs written by one of our online/new media experts. One of the things that caught my attention was the rate of adoption versus the earlier personal website/html development. This really got me thinking about innovation and how small conceptual differences can have profound impact on the adoption of the technology.

I developed my first website back in 1994. Many of you who built personal websites then probably remember the process. You of course needed an ISP that gave you some space on their servers to host your site. Then you needed an FTP program to get your HTML from your computer to their server. Then you needed to develop the HTML. If you were like me you found sites you thought were cool and then you would view the source, copy the code and rewrite it to fit your style. Then you would upload this one page and one picture at a time. After you updated the code you would then go to your URL and see how it looked. If it looked good you would keep it. If it didn’t you would update the code, delete the old page from the server and upload the new code. One can only imagine why the masses didn’t adopt this process.

Now—let’s move to 2005. You sign into one of many sites that host blogs. You sign-up; this takes five minutes. Then you choose your blog template and layout. Then you click “post an entry”, write your blog and then you are published, searchable, and can be instantly viewed by millions connected through social networks. Someone basically took the process of 94 and simplified it. The technology change is pretty subtle when you think about it but the impact is huge! Remember Windows 95 when Microsoft said DOS will become invisible? What consumer wants to mess around with DOS? They just want to turn on their computer and have it do what it is supposed to. Like with blogs this subtle difference made the Windows 95 launch one of the most significant Windows launches in history.

I do believe there has to be one other component that makes adoption complete. There seems to have to be a voice behind the innovation so consumers can accept it. There were probably thousands of people back in 94 that said, “hey, I can easily simplify this process.” I bet there were many developers that did; however, their inventions probably didn’t get much further than their 250MHZ IBM’s. If there was a powerful voice behind these inventions then the leap may have happened sooner. The voice can be viral—a zeitgeist if you will. Or the voice can be driven by PR/Marketing/Advertising.

When I write about recruiting technologies I often hear from representatives from recruitment technology firms that say, “I hear you—but check out what we did.” To be honest, I’m still waiting for that small innovation and giant leap. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen some great evolutions in the past few years. I just haven’t seen the giant leap yet. What will this look like for me? When I can come into the office and know that every candidate who comes into contact with my company has a great experience whether I talk to them or not—my ATS works as fast as I can click a button, total integration and total simplification. Is this a lot to ask or a pipe dream—NO! We shouldn’t settle for anything less.

Like with blogs I believe we are in store for one small innovation and one giant leap for recruiting technology. Listening to the many recruitment tools vendors at this years ERExpo I believe we are close. The vendors understand the business problem so now the question is can they achieve the “duh factor.” When they make that small innovation that creates the tipping point people will say, “duh, I should have thought of that.”

1 comment:

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