Australian Vendors fail with RSS

01_01I was updating my feeds today and decided I had better add the news/press/media release for a number of local vendors. I had not done this earlier as last I had looked most did not provide RSS feeds, I had hoped this situation had changed.

Unfortunately I was wrong.

Of the 12 vendors I check before writing this post only 1 provided RSS for news updates and this was provided through a blog as their news source. Most had some form of email news/newsletter service.

The vendors without RSS news updates are:

The only vendor with RSS?

I just picked this list at random to add, they range in size and scope, and are a mix of recruitment,talent management and HR/Payroll software providers.

Lucky Google Reader now has the ability to create a feed from a static HTML page so I can sort of subscribe to the vendors updates via my RSS reader.

Welcome to 2010

2009 was a long year for many, it started out with all sorts of doom and gloom, then we have had some ups and downs but generally most people I speak with agree the year ended in a fairly good way.

So on to 2010. First question is it Twenty Ten or Two Thousand and Ten? Let me know your thoughts.

Some blog statistics:

  • 37% of traffic comes from Australia, meaning over 60% of you are not from around here. The next largest source of traffic is USA with 32% followed by UK with only 5%!
  • 54% of readers still prefer Internet Explorer although Firefox makes up 32%
  • 70% of all traffic comes from search engines of that Google makes up about 90% of that traffic. The top referrer to the site is Twitter, but that is only 1.5% of all traffic.
  • April 4 2009 saw the biggest spike in traffic, almost 100% more traffic than the next highest day.

Next up there are a few changes that I am planning for 2010. (Yes the rest of this post is a little commercial in nature, sorry.)

Over the break the Inspecht Online store had a little make over and allowed for the introduction of some new products.

Webinars

The first product I want to let you know about is the Webinar Series each at $49. Each month I plan to run a 60 minutes webinar looking at a variety of different topics, the first topic Entering the Social Recruiting Maze. Entering the Social Recruiting Maze is based on the joint presentation I gave at the ATS Social Media event in December.

Inspecht Membership

The second product is the Inspecht Memberships. These memberships are designed to give people access to premium content, much of which I use in my day to day consulting, eBooks and webinars. Each membership is $299 and just by signing up you get access to all of the webinars, valued at $588 for the year!

Full Membership includes:

  • Weekly emails of the Inspecht newsletter
  • Access to templates, FAQs, and checklists, with new resources being added all of the time.
  • Access to all AUD$15 eBooks from the Inspecht Online Store
  • Participation at each monthly 1 hour webinar
  • Access to all previous webinars

Right now I am still fleshing out the content within the membership section, but access to the webinars alone should justify the purchase.

A history lesson of sorts

I got distracted today so I started digging through my old blog posts to have a look at some of the subjects I have covered in the last 5 years.

Initially I was very much focused on blogs as a method of solving all of the world’s issues. Mainly because that was the main form of user generated content that we had. (Think – when all you have is a hammer, everything begins to look like a nail.)

Here are some of my posts that stood out:

How the world has changed, we now have all sorts of tools available to individuals and organisations alike. However the foundations are the same FUSE or “Find, Use, Share, Expand”.

For an organisation to effectively leverage their employee’s in a knowledge economy, these employees need to be able to quickly and efficiently find the information they need. Once found the information needs to be used to create the outcomes required by their KPIs. With this newly formed outcome they will most likely then share with either other employees, customers or partners. The act of sharing expands the outcomes of the employee and the recipient.

Each piece of information you put through the FUSE process can result in your very own virus, a small infectious agent that can replicates inside the cells of another organism. In fact the whole concept of FUSE is much the same as the life cycle of a virus!

FUSE should be your framework for the introduction of social technologies into the enterprise.

Talent Management Power Blog?

FOT Ranking
Yes it seems I have risen to the ranks of a power blog for the first time. Yep I appeared today on the Fistful of Talent/HR Capitalist’s 5th listing of the top 30 blogs on talent management.

Previous listing have been judged by humans to determine if a blog was to be included. This time the selection process was a little different. They used HubSpot’s Website Grader tool. To quote FOT:

They evaluate “marketing effectiveness” which is based on a proprietary algorithm that blends over 50 different variables including search engine data, traffic, backlinks, etc.  Now we realize, this takes out of the equation the human factor, the FOT factor. But this is pretty black and white, wouldn’t you say? And since traffic is a factor in the website grading… let’s hope trust that good content is what drives great blogs with high traffic.

Anyway I scrapped in at number 29 on the list, amongst some very impressive names, head over to FOT and check out the list.

Is blogging over?

Two interesting things have happened in the last 3 days.

I woke on Saturday morning to the news that Joel Cheesman, the Cheezhead site and from what I can tell brand had been purchased by Jobing. Part of this change is the blog will be no more. This news struck me as very strange, given the huge amount of effort Joel has put into Cheezhead over the last few years. I was also instantly reminded of the Jason Davis, recruiting.com and Jobster scenario which I hope does not happen to Joel.

Yesterday Brett Iredale from JobAdder announced their new recruitment product but also that he is retiring the JobAdder blog for a more integrated, communal way of interacting. Good to see some experimentation in the Australian marketplace.

So does this mean blogs are dead? Nope just they are starting to change the way they look and the way they are used by business.

A blog story 5 years on

5 years ago today I started blogging with a small and unassuming post called “Welcome” (original I know), with the first topic to be covered being recruitment. Over the years I have written a lot about recruitment, but also technology, management, and HR.

In summary over the last 1,825 days:

  • I have typed out 1,313 posts, a little under one a day
  • You have made 1,873 comments
  • I have worked for 4 different companies, well 5 as I now work for myself
  • Watched the rise and fall of many companies
  • Watched the rise and fall of many blogs
  • Met some amazing people, I was going to try and list a few but it became too hard.

When I decided to start a blog after reading several blogs for a while and finding very very few covering HR, Recruitment and Technology, ok there were none! I also want a place for my ideas in a format that others could provide feedback so the blog format was perfect.

Thank you to all who read my writing, I really appreciate it. If you have never commented it would be fantastic to hear from you over the next year.

Finally I am looking forward to another 5 years of typing away on this blog.

Telstra’s social media policy

Yesterday Telstra was the first major Australian corporation to publicly release it’s social media policy. Called guardrails to help employees navigate the world of social media the policy is defined around three concepts, the 3 R’s; Representing, Responsibility, and Respect.

After the last few weeks I think both employees, management and stakeholders at Telstra will be pleased to have a few boundaries. However as Stephen Collins said where are the boundaries in the policy? That said it is good to see companies coming forward with policies allowing others to learn.

As a bit of a review, let me compare the Telstra policy to my recommended best practices:

5 key areas:

  1. Provide rights for the participants and define their equitable treatment – Yes
  2. Protect the interests of all stakeholders, external and internal -Yes
  3. Define roles and responsibilities for implementation and operation – Yes it is covered but I would like more information on how the implementation will take place. 
  4. Define integrity and ethical behaviours of participants – Yes
  5. Cover disclosure and transparency – Yes

5 main messages:

  1. Stop & Think – Implied but not explicit
  2. Use your loaf – Yes
  3. You can always disclaim, but you cannot hide – Yes
  4. Keep it real – Yes
  5. Respect the channels – Yes

So all in all a good first release.

It might also be good for Telstra to reference some of the relevant legislation:

  • Copyright Act, 1968 (Cth)
  • Spam Act, 2003 (Cth)
  • Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act, 1998

It should be noted that Telstra is in no way the first Australian entity to release their policies online, The Powerhouse Museum did so in April 2007!

Joining HR Tech Central

A few weeks ago I received an email from Tony Karrer from TechEmpower about a new blog consolidation service he is building called HR Tech Central.

HR Tech

So what is HR Tech Central?

The HR Tech Central community collects and organizes great information on human resources technology. 

I figured why not. So I have given permission to re-publish my blog feed on the HR Tech Central site, at http://www.hrtechcentral.com/&source=michael-specht.

But what is very good is they are summarising tags and categories so you want to learn all about Taleo? Subscribe to the Taleo feed. Workforce planning? They have a feed for that as well.

Head over and check them out. Some of the other blogs they are syndicating include:

Jobr.com.au using comment spam?

Today I woke up to find some comments waiting for approval from a site jobr.com.au, a small job board here in Australia. The comments were typical of someone creating comment spam (such as nice site and 🙂 ) and on posts about a competing job board, all from the same IP address but with different mail boxes at the jobr.com.au domain.

I deleted them as they add no value to the conversation on this blog.

Did I do the right thing? 

Relocation activities

Just a quick post to belatedly let you all know things will be a bit quiet for a few days while I move house. The process started about 4 days ago, and while most stuff has been completed I suspect blogging will be a bit light until next week.

Anyway I am sure you all won’t get bored, there is always the US election coverage to follow.