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Jan 18, 2006
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What a Wiki
Paula Santonocito

What a Wiki

Thanks to Dan Mitchell of The New York Times for pointing us in the direction of a great recruiting resource. Have we got a wiki for you!

What's a wiki? If you have to ask, well...

Actually, if you have to ask, you're not alone. A wiki, as defined by Wikipedia, a wiki itself, is a type of website that allows users to add and edit content. If it sounds Hawaiian, it's because it is; the word means "quick," "fast," or "to hasten."

With this in mind, let's wiki to the wiki: the Fortune 500 Business Blogging Wiki. The site was created by Chris Anderson of Wired Magazine and Ross Mayfield of Socialtext, a company that makes social software for collaboration. The objective of the site is to track which of the Fortune 500 companies are blogging. Currently, only 4 percent make the list. However, it's worth noting that this has recently increased from 3 percent.

Dan Mitchell, a Times writer, questions the logic behind the wiki as a tool for measuring a company's worth in his What's Online column. He also cites how compiling company blogs becomes complicated (separating the corporate from the personal can be difficult). Both points may be well taken, but the Fortune 500 Business Blogging Wiki is nonetheless a great stepping stone for recruiters.

The site provides direct links to a number of blogs from some of the world's largest companies.

Consider Sun Microsystems, for example, which, as of this writing, includes links to 50 blogs. Of course not all are work related or useful for recruitment purposes. Nevertheless, a little time at the site can yield amazing results.

Selecting a blog called "2006: Year of J2EE Portals" leads to "Navaneeth Krishnan's Blog," where, upon clicking on Krishnan's name, you get detailed background information about him. What's more, his blog clearly demonstrates his knowledge of J2EE portals.

Krishnan himself may not be a viable candidate; for one thing, he's in Bangalore, India. But before moving on from this or any other blog, you may want to look closer. People who create blogs are typically aficionados of Internet technology and, as a result, their blogs are often loaded with links to other sites. This is certainly the case with Krishnan's blog, which links to a Linux user group, another blog, and a conference site, among other resources.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the Fortune 500 Business Blogging Wiki currently includes blogs created mostly by technology experts and focused largely on, you guessed it, technology. As a result, right now it's a great source for tech candidates. Right now, that is.

As corporate blogging takes off, it's likely this wiki will evolve to include bloggers from more varied backgrounds. Even now, though, there are non-tech sites. One example is a blog called "Randy's Journal," found under The Boeing Company heading. "Randy's Journal" is authored by Randy Baseler, vice president of marketing for The Boeing Company.

An important thing to remember about the Fortune 500 Business Blogging Wiki, and any other wiki, is that it's subject to rapid and sometimes radical change. Because users add and edit content, a wiki is literally a moving target.

Therefore, if you find a blog of interest, it's advisable to bookmark the blog itself, or better yet save information to a file. If you rely on the wiki to connect you to the blog later, you may be out of luck. As this article was being written, Navaneeth Krishnan's Blog was pulled from the Sun Microsystems listing. At the same time, however, several new blogs were added.

Because of the way a wiki works, it's worth checking the site frequently. The Fortune 500 Business Blogging Wiki always contains new information, and new recruiting possibilities.