Nothing like a good ice-breaker to break the ice, get the creative juices flowing, work off some of the morning caffeine intake. We started our web 2.0 brainstorming session with a Cowboy, Ninja Bear tournament [I lost in round 2], then by reviewing some "competitor" sights. I would have liked to have reviewed more best in class sites, regardless of industry or product. We learned that some of the suckiest sites have higher traffic and stickiness rates. To understand these metrics, it would be helpful to understand the users -- intent, demographics, usage patterns, etc. As we worked through all of the ideas generated during several brainstorming sessions, a theme of "that's been done before" kept creeping into the conversation. There are very few original ideas. The best ideas, in fact, are often based on existing concepts. The great ideas take existing ideas to the next level, or place them in a different context, or simply improve upon what's been done. Some examples:
Portable Music ---> Sony Walkman ---> Apple Ipod
Phil Donahue ---> Oprah ---> O Magazine
I think O Magazine is the very best of what Oprah has to offer. All of the relevant information about the best products, interesting books [she really does have good literary taste] and grass roots activism, without the dismal guests ["Wives Confess They are Gay"] or self-serving celebrities. The nifty photo of Oprah on the cover is all I need to remind myself that, somewhere out there, a sista is wielding quite a bit of media power. Magazines, sooo old media. But the O folks have figured out how to make the women's magazine fresh and relevant to me.
Side note: I hosted a brunch yesterday and O helped me big time. I love to play hostess, and a good hostess always sends her guests home with a little remembrance. I sent my guests home with little pots of jam from Sarabeth's Kitchen. I first discovered Sarabeth's jams -- which are excellent -- on the O's List. I served the jam with freshly baked croissants and scones, and the guests all remarked how delicious the jams were. It was a surprise and delight moment when each guest got to take home a little pot of Sarabeth's.
When it comes to web technology there are many great ideas that might be re-executed in a recruiting context. I am currently thinking through a strategy -- you read it here first -- of using podcasts to augment job postings. I am very excited about using this medium to market jobs in a very personal way[think, the voice of the hiring manager describing the challenges of the job] to many prospects, with a viral reach goes from broad to targeted.I will let you know what comes of this, but if I don't make it happen in 30-45 days, feel free to steal liberally from my idea.