Friday, February 09, 2007

Yahoo Pipes in Powerful New Search Tool

I don't normally post about things not totally related to personnel selection and recruiting. But I do make exceptions, particularly when I think it will become relevant.

One of the big stories yesterday was that Yahoo was forced to take down one of its websites because it received so much traffic--the day it was introduced. What was this new site? It's called Yahoo Pipes, and it's worth taking a look at even if you don't know your RSS from your URL.

In a nutshell, Pipes allows novices (okay, semi-novices) to aggregate/ mash-up/ recombine information from several sources and have all kinds of fun with it. Examples include a Pipe that takes content from the New York Times homepage and searches Flickr for related photos. Another allows the user to search for apartments within a certain range of a feature--such as a park, a grocery store, etc. Once you run the Pipe, you can subscribe to the feed results.

So how is this relevant for us? Several ways, I think. One possibility is taking job search results from multiple sites and allowing the job seeker to filter the results in a variety of different ways (location, duties, etc.) Another is for recruiters to source talent from several sources simultaneously, filtering for experience, competencies, etc. A third use is simply to keep up to date on a topic of particular interest to you or your organization, giving you a bit more control than the typical feed reader. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

It's not perfect--one problem I ran into is aggregating and searching jobs is limited because of the limited number of results that are presented on each results/RSS page. And although it's quite user friendly, it could be better--and likely will get there.

Google has been shelling out innovative tools left and right these days (e.g., Base, Co-op, Alerts, Docs). Yahoo must be doing quite a bit of preening right about now.

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