Found this new resource for IT professionals (and IT recruiters too!) – Masterbranch. It’s a network that’s currently only available for IT folks, letting them connect with each other through search based on projects, skills, and available opportunities.
According to KillerStartups review, “…through [Masterbranch] you can have something akin to an intelligent resume that reflects any change that should merit inclusion…This dynamic profile is built by looking at your sites and blogs (IE, your activity on the WWW) and the site also doubles as a sort of networking resource where IT professionals can meet up with each other and build relationships like that.”
This site grabs all your information based on OpenSourceID verification and it dynamically builds an IT ‘resume’ based on your web activity. Obviously, this wouldn’t be a resume that would be suitable to bring on an interview, but it’s a good sampling of your online presence and an additional place for you to build your personal SEO and be find-able to recruiters. For recruiters, this is yet another resource for sourcing! The site pulls your information from LinkedIn, Stackoverflow, Google, Sourceforge, Serverfault, Launchpad, Ohloh, GitHub, BitBucket, and your blog if you have one.
Once your profile is built, you can start looking at other community members based on projects and skill areas. The most popular areas are linked at the bottom of the page, and you can join project “networks” to be found based on skill area.
People search is also intuitive; start typing a name and it will suggest people who are community members. It’s still a small community, but it’s certain to grow quickly. Updates are automatically pulled from the online accounts you add to your profile. No manual updates are necessary once you’ve added an account – pretty sweet!
IT recruiters: this is worth taking a look at. IT professionals – this is another place for you to get noticed!
The Cool Tool Alert has returned! This week, I want to feature a neat iPhone app that is an extension of a service that I learned about way back in June at the Fordyce Forum from founder Lori Fenstermaker. Lori started AutoSearch almost by accident, and what started off as a “side business” has quickly become her main focus, with some pretty notable clients. (you’ll have to ask Lori for that client list!) Lori revealed to me at Fordyce that AutoSearch would soon be coming out with an iPhone app, and as an iPhone user I asked her to let me know when this happened. Well – here it is! AutoSearch Mobile:
“AutoSearch Mobile simultaneously searches leading business and social networking sites: LinkedIn, Twitter, Jobster, and ZoomInfo. AutoSearch Mobile also searches the entire web for matching resumes and CVs.”
Basically, it’s AutoSearch Lite. This is a great way to sample what AutoSearch can do. I tested out this new iPhone app and was very impressed with it. It’s quite user-friendly, compact, and relatively accurate. Keep in mind of course, you’re searching the Internet, which is not a recruiters’ database, so you must have realistic expectations of your search results. But that being said, the results I got from my simple search were actually pretty good!
Things I liked about this app:
- You can add in your own locations, or simply choose from the ones that are already pre-populated. To add new ones, you simply click on the Setup button
- It’s VERY simple. You type in some keywords, a job title, a name, or whatever you’re searching for, and you get results all on one screen from Jobster, LinkedIn, ZoomInfo, Twitter, and regular web search.
- The app accepts pretty much all Boolean search operators, or you can just simply type in a few keywords.
- Search results keep you in the app. You never have to leave the app to view them!
- Search results are easily email-able to your account or wherever else you’d like to send them – again, right from the app.
- Search results are amazingly refined.
Just a couple of things I’d like to see different:
- It would be great to see the actual Boolean search string in the results.
- You cannot save the searches done on the iPhone app.
- Would like search results to be able to be synched with the full version if you’ve purchased it.
It should be noted that in the full AutoSearch tool, keywords are automatically stored so this takes care of the saved search issue. At only $4.99, this is a great deal as well!
Wolfram|Alpha, a new search engine that just launched in Mid-May 2009 to the general public, is the talk of our industry right now. Some say that it’s going to be a Wikipedia- or a Google-killer. Others (including me) think it’s neat, but that it’s really just a big calculator at this point. Still others are enjoying playing with it and discovering ‘Easter eggs’ hidden within.
Wolfram|Alpha is “a computational knowledge engine: it generates output by doing computations from its own internal knowledge base, instead of searching the web and returning links.” It’s a fact-machine – you ask it a question, and it will do its best to spit back an answer for you.
When it comes to academia, there are plenty who sing its praises. This will be quite a handy tool when it comes to researching academic matters. For example: if you wanted some quick facts about Winston Churchill:
However, if you wanted to know who just won the most recent Dancing With The Stars, Wolfram|Alpha is going to tell you:
As with any tool of our trade, what you get out of it depends largely on what you put into it. In addition, with Wolfram|Alpha, what you’re looking for is a big factor too. If you’re looking for hard scientific, mathematical, or historical facts, chances are Wolfram|Alpha’s going to help you out. But if you’re looking for current events or assistance with your sourcing efforts, you’re going to be disappointed.
Now, researching companies within an industry – that’s a different story. The database does side-by-side in depth comparison of companies and provides details on # of employees, revenue, etc., and on an individual search basis will also provide you with some basic company information (website, location, industry):
This could prove to be helpful when conducting competitive research within an industry or beginning to build a list of companies to target.
From a sourcing perspective however, the information we seek isn’t contained in its extensive knowledge base – that is, where precisely to find certain types of people for potential candidacy for our open positions. I tested this out, just to make sure:
Nope – not what I was looking for, though this is interesting information, and I believe Wolfram|Alpha will give financial search engines such as Google Finance and Yahoo Finance a run for their money. Wolfram|Alpha will do detailed, side-by-side comparisons of stock symbols where the other two currently do not, at least in great detail.
My assessment is that Wolfram|Alpha isn’t going to make any waves when it comes to useful recruiting tools, at least from a candidate search standpoint. Furthermore, I do not think it will be replacing any major search engines or information sources in the near future. In fact, if you click on the Source Information link at the bottom of the Winston Churchill search, you’ll see that Wikipedia is listed amongst the information sources from which it frequently pulls:
Regardless, Steven Wolfram has come up with a great start to tackling the issue of pure semantic search. (interestingly, plugging ‘semantic search’ into Wolfram|Alpha produces no results) I think this will serve as a good jumping-off point for others to build upon. Check it out and give it a whirl yourself.