Alexander The Great

January 14, 2008

MySpaceBook, Killer of Jobs

Filed under: Modern Life,Web — alexanderthegreatest @ 7:43 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

No, not Steve Jobs.  YouTube employed 60 people when it was bought by Google, and served more viewers than many cable television networks. Skype has double the customers of British Telecoms, with a staff of 200 people. This is about 90,000 less than the company’s UK staff.

These companies compete with traditional, “Old Economy” powerhouses that, quite often, pay decent wages to their many people. As technology marches forward, we’re seeing job growth that, at best, is mismatched to our past. Those that find good wages today are increasingly service oriented in a broad sense, and require considerable talent. Job skills like PHP, C++ and AJAX are frankly not available to many people. They require not just intelligence, but a combination of access to technical literature, a machine to practice with, and lots of time. (Open source software rarely runs on free hardware.)

On the other hand, Craigslist isn’t forcing people to use it instead of traditional news print. They’re allowing people to. People are choosing overwhelmingly to deal with internet companies that are highly automated rather than job factories, in part because they’re cheaper or free, and in part because they’re frankly better. (Craigslist is full of crazies, but your post goes live in 15 minutes.)

We’ve always been encouraged to vote with our dollars. Why, then, are we surprised when competition has losers, and not just winners? Overall, what do you think – is the web doing more harm than good, or the other way around?

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