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LinkedIn Pulse as the tragedy of the commons

1. Tragedy of the commons

There is a classic tale in game theory describing the usage of shared resources freely accessible to everyone. In the original 19th century example the tale is about ten cattle herders living in a small village. Each herder has one cow, and the pasture of the village is perfectly suited to feed 10 cows. All cows are healthy and well fed, and this setup maximizes the return per cow (milk, meat, etc.).

After a while one of the herders realizes that he can increase his profit by adding a second cow to the pasture. While he is doubling his number of cows he is not doubling his profit – all 11 cows on the field are producing now only at 95% of their maximum. Yet, for the herder this is still a 90% increase in profit. This increase is getting lower and lower with each cow, but for every next herder the financially better decision is to get one more cow. Those who do not participate in this game of cow-addition will be penalized. They just experience the negatives (their cow is also producing less) without the positives (having more cows). This of course inevitably ends in most actors choosing the addition of cows, the pasture getting destroyed and not being able to feed all the cows.  How Floyd summarizes the moral of the story:

If all herders made this individually rational economic decision, the common could be depleted or even destroyed, to the detriment of all.

Tragedy of commons - same thing can happen with LinkedIn Pulse

This example is a time-tested classic still used nowadays to describe the situation and problematics of the „commons”, common goods available to everyone and anyone. It’s very typical to use this analogy in environmental protections with topics like air pollution, fishing in seas or water clarity. When posting on LinkedIn Pulse – and sending a notification to all of your connections – became an option for everyone, it essentially became the pasture or the air in these examples. It’s there, it’s free to use, and for each and every individual contemplating whether to post the vacancy or not, it makes sense to do it.

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What’s up LinkedIn?

LinkedIn always was a tool filled with bugs and unexpected behavior. Sometimes these errors were making work really hard, sometimes just annoying and sometimes even useful. These changes often meant something is being altered in the background – like the messaging bugs leading to the “new messaging experience”. Lately I am experiencing more and more problems. In this post I attempt to oversee what errors I recently faced and what changes they might be foreshadowing. To round up the picture I am of course including some other recent LinkedIn developments as well.


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GitHub and StackOverflow in technical recruitment

Disclaimer: GitHub and StackOverflow are amazing resources for tech recruiters. But contrary to the popular tone of most sourcing articles on this topic I do not consider them to be “the” primary searching database of software engineers. What I do consider them to be is a primary tool while connecting, engaging and evaluating tech talent, which in some cases you can use as a candidate source as well.

This post is about the “other”, not really documented usages. If you came here just because you want to learn how to search on these sites you can jump here to read my piece on GitHub or here on StackOverflow, but I strongly suggest to read about the other usages first.

1. Similarities and differences between GitHub and StackOverflow and the impact on your technical recruitment efforts

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14 best tweets from #SourceCon

SourceCon is the industry standard event of sourcing. Nothing shows this more than how the official hashtag of the conference, #sourcecon is followed by thousands – including sourcers and recruiters from the other half of the world, like me. The reason is simple: the tweets of the participants offer valuable nuggets of advice.


In this post, I have gathered the ones which offer the most to someone who could not participate at SourceCon Seattle. They are not necessarily the most retweeted or favorited, they may not bee the funniest or smartest, but they offer value on their own.

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What is sourcing strategy and a 9 step guide to create one

If you are effective and efficient in what you normally do, you naturally stick to it. To cope with the rapid changes in the business world you need to look a bit further ahead. There are situations and challenges when the norm is not sufficient – instead of finding out the hard way the wise prepare. This article is meant to give you a blueprint on how you can create a sourcing strategy when you anticipate a difficult challenge or know that for some reason you can not stick to your normal activities.

1. What is a sourcing strategy?

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ATS is a graveyard only if you are a gravedigger

Everytime someone mentions ATS in a presentation or article “graveyard” or “wasteland” is bound to follow (unless it’s done by a sales rep of course). If the speaker is really creative, he may even drop in a picture of a depressing place like this one:

ATS as a graveyard 2

The connection seems almost automatic. I know it’s coming and by now I am kind of waiting for it.

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