Thursday, September 18, 2008

Brightfuse burned out

About a month ago in my search for a lead on employment, I came upon a website called Brightfuse through Careerbuilder.  For those not in the know, Brightfuse is a career-oriented networking site; kind of like what MySpace would be if  MySpace specifically catered careers.

Now, it was not my intention to troll this site, though undoubtedly that's what I will be accused of in the future.  I was interested in making a genuine connection with someone there who was experienced in finding creative work, or to at least get some gauge on what I was up against.  What I found instead was a bunch of other people exactly like me:  that is to say, unemployed or disenfranchised with their job to the point where they were looking for a new career.  But they weren't alone - there were also people seeking to line their pockets for other projects, and some "Amway-esque" pyramid scams.  When I first logged on, I was contacted by about a dozen people wanting to list me as a contact!  This was before I had even put any profile information on the site, so I had to wonder about the legitimacy of their network.  I tended to turn down people who didn't share at least some common background with me, my training, or my jobs of the past.

Brightfuse wasn't just individuals though, it was also about groups.  There were groups for all sorts of different creeds, and some of these groups were for a less-than-professional discussion.  What I tended to notice though, was that most people would start groups (some with very similar charters to other peoples' groups), and then not administrate them.  Even when I directly contacted the persons involved to as an easy question like, "where would someone starting out go to learn more about Linux?" or "how often do you get work from this freelance website?" it seemed as though I was being ignored, or that the administrators had started the group before succumbing to some terminal disease during the night.  Most had few members and even fewer discussion threads, but one that could not be accused of this was the group "Aspiring Sarcastics (sic)," which I initially thought was set up for the purpose of wit-driven satire of Americana, but after my first few posts I was accused of not being venomous or passionate enough (in truth, I was being sarcastic).  Turns out that the group had nothing to do with sarcasm - it was just a discussion where the administrator would ask a "deep" question (about such things as capital punishment or how much help the people who didn't evacuate the current hurricane actually deserve) and then wait for heart-felt responses.

Those who know me know that I have been dreading the up and coming termination of my unemployment benefits, as I have still not found work and after four months of looking I have no idea what to do now.  It has made me a bit more morose than usual, and as such I tend to get a bit melodramatic.  People would often question my motives for making the observations that I did, and always had a sob-story much greater than my own to retort with, such as "I'm a paraplegic," or "we got one Christmas present a year, so learn to appreciate what you're given you prick!"  I make no excuses.  I wasn't looking for sympathy, just answers.

If this blog hasn't made it clear by now, I am fully aware that I am a "sniveling (sic), whiny-ass cry baby," (yes John, I read your comment while I was deleting my profile information this morning) but I would also like to add that I am lazy, stubborn, impatient, and self-absorbed.  I know this, and I tell it freely to those who ask, but they always give me guff for it anyway, because despite the very real truth of my statement they don't consider that there are people this bad out there.  As I tried to tell them diplomatically, after nearly twenty years of trying, I can't elevate myself, so it becomes necessary to bring others to the same level of misery that I feel every waking moment of every day.

What I'm really trying to say with this entry though, is that Brightfuse was yet another incredible waste of time that Careerbuilder introduced me to, just like the various temp agencies that have contacted me in the past because of it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear you feel this way. I've been on BrightFuse since July and have seen it grow tremendously.

Yes, it does cater to a job-seeker audience. And yes, there are a lot of job-seekers out there these days. If anything I've had people write that they're just happy to have people that can relate to them during their job search. Plus, I have connected with people who have gotten interviews and made important connections through the site. My friend's father actually made a great international business development contact who he's now good friends with!

That being said, in the past month, there's been great stuff they've added. They suggest contacts for you based on your background, "kudos" to allow you to break the ice with contacts you don't know yet, and they just let us know that they'll launching interactive company pages, where you can interact wth people from that company and ask them questions.

Spammers are an issue on any kind of user-generated site. But they have recently put in new features to crack down on those people, and it's not been a problem for me.

I'm obviously a happy BrightFuse member, so I just thought I'd share the other perspective. :)