No idea if “me-toosim” is a word, but it just sounded too good to pass up. Job boards are nothing new, they have been around forever and if you hit up any of the long time designer portals you will see lots of them had job postings up since the beginning of time. In April, 37signals announced their job board which was simply a way for companies to post jobs for all of 37signals’ readers. The board itself isn’t laced with features that you can find on Monster, but that’s where its appeal lies.
It made sense for them to create something like this. If you have the audience, why not figure out ways to monetize it as much as possible? People found the concept of independent job boards as genius especially when you consider they are charging $250 a pop. Then we got TechCrunch’s Crunchboard which targets mostly the same audience except you only had to pay $200 to post a job there. Not far behind was GigaOM Jobs which hits up the same exact same market as CrunchBoard at the exact same price.
Today we get Cameron Moll’sAuthentic Jobs, which allows you to distinguish between a full-time job and a simple gig for a price of $250. Then by mere *cough* coincidence, Jason Fried announces that 37signals will open up a Gig Board which will also allow you to post gigs and is giving away 20 free slots. In return Cameron begins to offer 20 free slots as well, although I would’ve went extreme and given 100 away for free.
In any case, in almost every announcement of these job boards people are saying how great of an idea it is, but that is probably because they are supporting the sites they love. Is a job board for every single site on the web a good thing? Of course I don’t think it is, but that doesn’t mean you should try to avoid making money if you can. Admittedly after 37signals launched their’s we considered doing one for 9rules that encompassed all of our communities and we still might do something, but we also know that it will differ than the five examples I have posted above in more than one way.
The question remains though how much innovation should you pursue when so much competition crops up without losing the simplicity of your concept? The argument for Bloglines in the Web 2.0 Losers discussion was that there was no reason to innovate when they simply did the job correctly. The only differentiating factors between the above job boards is the amount of people that each one will reach and the price per posting. So much for competitive analysis and taking things one step further than the rest.
It will be interesting to watch this space and even more so how Cameron reacts if his job board doesn’t take off. We wish him and all the others best of luck because we all win when people get paid. Or some shit like that. Do you think these job boards should try a bit harder to differentiate themselves or are they just fine the way they are?