Monday, September 13, 2004

Addicting, Intriguing and a Little Bit Scary

I was doing some research on the use of social networking technology in Human Resources when I came across this shocker:

"Compared to sites that require users to map their own social networks, Weddle says, Eliyon Technologies' site is much more robust--they've used their spider to compile dossiers on over 19 million Americans. For free, he says, users can type in the name of a company and get a list of the people on whom the company has built dossiers." Full article here.

I don't know about you but when I hear the words "compiled dossiers" I get a little nervous. Particularly when it's used in the same sentence with 19 million Americans.

I had to check it out.

And I must admit it's very cool.

Eliyon has a little search box where you can search for corporate alumni or search by name. The cool (and a little scary) part is the results. I entered a company name in the alumni box and up popped a list of 50+ former employee names. When you click on a person's name, you get a sheet with as much information as Eliyon's spiders can scrape (literally) together on this person.

When I put in my own name, it had the previous company I ran, other titles I held, board memberships, past employment, education, information on me from the About Us page of Nobscot's website, a discussion list I used to moderate including my bio from that discussion list and two newspaper articles.

Another search I did brought up excerpts from an article that was written about me in a local magazine.

All of this information is freely available on the web but Eliyon does a nice job of pulling it all together in one place. It appears they pull from press releases, news articles, resumes, biographies and "about us" pages. It's very addicting looking up your past employers and business colleagues.

After I got over the initial fear and the subsequent search addiction, I found the whole concept terribly intriguing. I wonder how this technology will be used? I wonder if this will displace google searches? I wonder if this will be used for reference checks when hiring? I wonder if this will be used to gather names for recruiters to recruit? I wonder how they will keep it accurate?

There are a lot of things to think about but one thing is for sure. We will soon be hearing a lot more about Eliyon searches in the very near future. With any luck it will be put to good use and not bad.

Beth C.


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9:04 PM, October 23, 2005  

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