Blogosphere is buzzing: What's up with Jobster?
Seattle Times technology reporter
Jobster, a darling of the Web 2.0 world, is undergoing a self-evaluation as it pushes for profitability in the New Year.
The Seattle company, which develops technology to help corporations recruit employees, is saying little. But thanks to the Internet age it helped create, the company's internal workings are far from behind closed doors.
Speculation is rampant online, where dozens of people inside the recruiting or the technology communities are blogging about what may be happening.
The blog postings are so abundant, and the curiosity so insatiable, that the search phrase "Jobster" on Thursday became the third most-searched-for item on Technorati, a site dedicated to organizing blogs. It ranked after Britney and before YouTube.
The official line is company executives and investors are meeting to discuss the goal set by Chief Executive Jason Goldberg in July of becoming profitable in 2007. A decision is expected Tuesday.
A spokesman said it was too early to say, but some of the company's 145 employees may be laid off.
One employee has already left the company — Tracy Lawrence Burman, president of business operations. She founded a company called GetConnected before joining Jobster in 2005.
Goldberg founded Jobster in 2004. It has raised $48 million in venture capital from some well-known names, including Reed Elsevier, the London publishing company that owns LexisNexis, Harcourt, Holt and Reed; and Bellevue's Ignition Partners, Mayfield Fund and Trinity Ventures.
The company made at least two acquisitions during the past two years and moved from its Pioneer Square digs to a new office overlooking Puget Sound in October.
Jobster hasn't been able to keep its internal affairs under wraps.
Goldberg started addressing suspicions a week ago today in his blog entry on the company's Web site titled "What's happening over at Jobster?"
Goldberg answered: "... if i had a dollar for every time i've been getting that question the past couple of weeks i'd have 20 more million dollars in the bank on top of what's already there."
He goes on to say Jobster continues to do well and there's much to anticipate. Finally, he says: "truth is that i promised our shareholders that we would drive this company towards profitability in 2007 and that's a promise i intend to keep. period."
One blogger, commenting on the flurry of gossip, said: "Well, it's all over Entertainment Tonight, Celebrity Justice and even The View. 'Is Jobster in trouble? Will the Godfather of Recruiting 2.0 follow the Godfather of Soul into the dust of 2006?' "
Web 2.0 is the next generation of tech companies that promise more substance and less glamour than the dot-com days in the late 1990s.
Goldberg describes Jobster as the MySpace of the Workplace, where it uses the Internet to connect job seekers and those hiring.
His persona thrives online, where he follows his status post on Jobster with a discussion of his iPod playlist.
The playlist reflects his mood. On Thursday, he said he was listening to Destiny's Child, "Survivor," Don Henley's "Dirty Laundry," and Jennifer Hudson's "I'm telling you I'm not going," among others.
In his final post, as of late Thursday, Goldberg commented on all the attention Jobster is getting.
"As strange as this sounds, it's kinda cool to see the recruiting blogosphere get all activated over news before it's news. Are we really that interesting? (Or, are we all really addicted to the soap opera?)"
For the latest update, check in with Goldberg at http://jobster.blogs.com/blog_dot_jobster_dot_com/.
Tricia Duryee: 206-464-3283 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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