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October 2006

Pssst.. Want to Know What's Going On In Recruiting? Try RSS

RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication, among other things.  It's a way of converting text on a website into a "feed."  That feed can be combined with others to help you gather information from all of your favorite websites and read them at one place (your feed reader). 

Basically, you're taking your daily web-surfing and converting it into a readable format that looks a lot like your e-mail.  It can be a huge timesaver, because it saves you from having to go searching for material.  Your "reader" brings the news to you.

You may not know it, but you probably read feeds all the time and don't know it.  The St Louis Post-Dispatch has RSS feeds, so does ESPNSo does this blog.

Looking for good descriptions?  Dennis Kennedy has a good one.  Stephanie, of Back in Skinny Jeans, came up with a wildly popular description called How to Explain RSS the Oprah Way.

And if you want to know what's going on in the recruiting blogosphere, you might check out the page that has all the feeds.

OnRec Conference Review: Mike Tiffany of NetEffects

Miketiffany Onrec I recently had the chance to sit down with Mike Tiffany, the recruiting manager for NetEffects, a staffing firm headquartered in Chesterfield, MO.

Mike just attended the OnRec conference in Chicago, and I wanted to get his impression of the conference as an attendee.  This review is an independent review of the conference based on handwritten notes from my meeting with Mike.

1.  How did you hear about Onrec?   Mike received an e-mail inviting him to the conference from OnRec. He clicked the link and really liked the topics of the speakers.

2. What inspired you to go?  Mike did some research on the conference reading niche sites and blogs, and read enough positive information to sign up.

3.  What about the location?  Facilities?  Restaurants?  Coffee?  The location was good.  Close to the airport in a clean, safe area.  Good restaurants (ate in the hotel when not fed by OnRec).   There was no Starbucks in site (I asked that directly - ed).

4.  What was the best part of the conference?  There was a frank discussion between general and niche employment sites, the usefulness of social networks websites and generational differences as it pertains to on the best ways to recruit.  He felt that there were pro- and anti- sides to every issue, especially on newer tools like those of recruiting blogs.

5. What about the speakers?  Joel Cheesman was singled out for an exceptional and provocative speech.  In fact, the first contact Mike made with me was to ask me if I had ever heard Joel speak.  Sumser's comments on the generations made him think about structuring recruiting departments to match the audiences, Steven Rothberg had some great thoughts on best and some of the worst examples of using Facebook and MySpace for drawing passive candidates, and John Younger really hit a homer on the direction of recruiting and RPO’s.

Continue reading "OnRec Conference Review: Mike Tiffany of NetEffects" »

Dennis Kennedy profiled at Pajama Market

St Louis Blawgger Dennis Kennedy has been profiled, or better yet, interviewed at Pajama Market.

Dennis has been doing this a long time, and is a stalwart defender of blogdom.  Also, he gets more traffic than I do, which is why we like to grovel at his feet and beg for more links.  From the review:

"Kennedy has been blogging for a while now (Feb. 2003) and is very well established in his field. His writing is top-rate, though not for everyone. As I mentioned, this blog appeals to a niche audience and has excellent material for that audience, but very little of value for anyone outside this niche. This is a great approach and only serves to make Kennedy an absolute authority in that niche."

Pajama Market reviews Small Business Blogs (over 85 so far), and has been featured in a number of places including as a source for a recent USA Today article on small business blogging.

Brian's not a big fan of the design, but in all fairness, Dennis is a lawyer first and a blogger second - and as he points out, Dennis is a recognized authority in his field.

(He's also a real nice guy to meet in person).

Lisa Balbes Has A New Book Out

If you've spent much time online as a St Louis recruiter, you've probably run across Lisa Balbes.  She's a technical writer (and oh so much more) who is well-networked and in demand in the region.

She also has published her book, NonTraditional Careers for Chemist:  New Formulas for Chemistry Careers.  Lisa has also started a blog to promote the book.  It's about career development for chemists.  The book link is below.

Corporate Communications Manager Moving to St Louis

Jack Vivrett is a Corporate Communications Manager with 10 years of international experience who is trying to move back to St Louis.  He will be here from September 27th through October 13th, and hopefully, there are several companies that would be willing to interview him.

Jack connected to me through the LinkedIn network, and his profile is linked here.  I have a pdf of his resume I'll be happy to forward you. There is no fee involved, I'm just paying it forward.

Jack will be in St. Louis from September 27th through October 13th.  He has family here and went to Missouri universities.

His basics:


        * Corporate Communications Manager at ZyLAB
        * Independent Consultant (Self-employed)


        * Corporate Extranet Manager at AUCS (now BT-Infonet)
        * Technical Editing Team Leader at Baan (now SSA Global)
        * Technical-Communication Consultant at Using It (now Namahn)


        * Iowa State University
        * Bowling Green State University
        * Missouri State University

Durbin Media is in the Post-Dispatch

It's always nice to get a little media coverage and today's Post-Dispatch has a feature of Durbin Media (using the name) in the Business Section.

The article title is The Blog Lady, and it's a very good description of what our company does.  We use blogs to build brands.

Check out this bit:

"Companies can use blogs to learn what customers want from their products, to get feedback on potential new products or to build awareness of their products among potential customers."

That's the purpose of the local recruiting blogs, too.  Tailoring a message to a core group of passive job-seekers is the best way to use a blog to hire people.  We've got some promising news for companies interested in that use of blogging, and expect to start rolling out results-oriented blogs next year.

Just remember one thing.  If your blog doesn't have a business purpose, it's not a business blog.

The main page of our site is Will the Community Police Itself?

With the launch of the new, much buzz has been made about where the latest incarnation of the recruiting community will take us.  Will lead employment bloggers to a brave new Digg World, or will it fall prey to unscrupulous article submissions by casinos, mortgage companies and the corporate recruiter who figures out they can post a job and submit it to the main page?

As in all social media, the new is going to face what is known as the Tragedy of the Commons.

The tragedy of the commons is a phrase used to refer to a class of phenomena that involve a conflict for resources between individual interests and the common good.

A example of the tragedy of the commons is litter in a public park.  If I visit a public park and make a mess, should I clean it up?  Individually, there is no benefit.  The time spent cleaning the litter is time I could spend more productively.  If I don't clean the litter, then others in the park are forced to look at it, or clean it up themselves.  In a good community, everyone does their part, but only as part of a social compact that keeping the park up helps everyone. 

That's where we stand today. Basically, Jobster has changed the format of from that of editor's choice to community choice, and thus opportunity (and tragedy) await the rest of us.  Before, the editors picked up the trash because of the low volume of posting and tight control.  Now, anyone and everyone can submit articles, and determining what is trash and what is treasure is a community effort.  There's a lot of room for abuse in that system.  

Continue reading " Will the Community Police Itself?" »

WorkBloom: Employment Blog

Workbloom is anothe job-seeker site that offers up solid advice for, uh, well, job-seekers.

Resumes, cover letters, interviews, and follow-up letters are all covered, and the site includes a directory for link exchanges for those interested.

And of course, there is a blog.

One of the hardest parts of starting a job search is knowing where and how to start.  This looks like a decent place to get started.  At least until I write that unemployment book in November.

Are You A Blue Chip Consultant?

St Louis technical talent is deeper than we're often given credit for.  When scouring the local recruiting landscape, I'm often pleasantly surprised at how many developers, designers, and architects reside in St. Louis but travel elsewhere or work remotely with clients on the more fashionable coasts.

Rates on the coasts are better (they never fall below $100 an hour - and often can go as high as $200-$250), and with a high-speed modem and Vonage or Skype, where you work matters very little.

So I read with interest the post CM Russell (always the jobseeker's friend) wrote about Blue Chip, a referral network for top talent that just maybe might help good St Louis talent find reputable gigs.

Blue Chip Expert
is the name of the company, and it requires a invitation to join.  I'd like an invitation if anyone has one - just send it to for Durbin Media Group.  There's a link and a story in it for you.

From the website:


Blue Chip Expert membership is granted by invitation only from an existing member.

Executive Search Consultants, Recruiters and all other existing members invite qualified Hiring Managers and Experts that they can recommend to the Blue Chip community. 

Blue Chip members will typically extend invitations to qualified individuals within their professional and social networks.

An invitation is best obtained by locating an existing Blue Chip member within your own networks.


Continue reading "Are You A Blue Chip Consultant? " »

St Louis Business Blog Help

Friday, October 6th: 7:00 a.m. Kaldi's in Chesterfield Valley 

Durbin Media Group  and Kaldi's Coffee will be hosting a St Louis Business Blog Networking meeting.

Location: Meeting Room of Kaldi's Cafe and Bakery, Chesterfield Valley Boone's Crossing (next to Oberweis)

17211 Chesterfield Airport Road

Time: From 7 a.m. to 8 a.m

Refreshments:  You're on your own (Coffee, Breakfast Food, Pastries are all available from Kaldi's)

Topic:  Is Business Blogging Right For Me?

If you're interested in finding out how Business Blogging can help your marketing and sales efforts, come to the first monthly meeting of the St Louis Business Blog Network.  Franki and Jim Durbin, owners of Durbin Media Group, will be leading a session designed to take the mystery out of business blogging.

The monthly meeting is designed to assist small business and microbusiness in starting and running blogs that bring in measurable results.  The cost is always free, and the purpose is building up a successful community of St Louis Business Bloggers.

To RSVP or learn more, send an e-mail to