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.
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.
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.
We all know that with the new LinkedIn changes if you want to keep accessing the database for free, you have to X-ray via a search engine like Google or Bing. Except there is still a way to search on LinkedIn. That feature is the Alumni Search – with a bit of a URL cracking twist. In this post I explain how to use it, and share with you a handy table containing links to search for various degree holders in most countries.
With the new limitation on LinkedIn searches it is now more important than ever to know how you can access LinkedIn’s data through Google. There is more to X-raying than meets the eye, so I am laying out the methods and the tricks in the post below.
With all the excitement around semantic search we still live in an era of keyword (and more specifically Boolean) search. In sourcing, one of the keyword categories I rarely see used properly are the target companies. It’s an extremely important one though: Even weak keywords can turn into great ones if you add a parentheses consisting of potential target companies to your string. The keyword combination (consultant | consulting | advisor etc.) is a pretty general one resulting in many people not suited to your positions.
Combine it with a parentheses containing recruitment agencies and you pretty much know what you will get. This article is meant to help you gather target company names and create a proper parentheses in your Boolean string – of course a list of target companies can be used for so much more (market intelligence, sales, job search etc).