Every 30 seconds a new social network is created on Ning. Since it launched two years ago, close to 500,000 social networks has been created on Ning (see graph). Of course, Ning is not the only player in this space, other white-label social network platforms abounds.
Ning’s, and white-label social network providers, stratospheric growth gives one an idea on where online communities are heading. At this rate, there is likely to be a social network for every niche imaginable. At the core of this growth is the ease with which anyone can create a social network, and the basic longing for everyone to be part of a community.
The explosion of online communities offers both opportunities and challenges for recruiters. For one, it will be easier to identify and reach out to a focused pool of talent (Need accountants anyone?), at the same time monitoring conversations across a large number of networks will prove to be a challenge for most recruiters (How many social networks can you participate in?).
It is not difficult to imagine job listings to become a standard feature on social networks. Already, job listings are a regular features on some popular social networks. Very soon, the jobs listings themselves will be the draw card for signing up with a particular social network.
It’s not clear how social networks will affect the status quo in terms of job listings and talent acquisition, but online communities are here not only to stay but to prosper. As Seth puts it in his new book Tribes, ” Go down the list of online success stories. The big winners are organizations that give tribes of people a platform to connect.”