Now that folks are using Facebook for EVERYTHING (including journaling their police stand-offs), Monster.com has decided it needs a Facebook app. It's so cute, too - It's called "BeKnown," and it has a little "bee" for the logo (get it?). Ha ha ha!
Ok, but seriously, these so-called "job" sites like the aptly-named Monster.com mostly serve as data-harvesters, and are becoming increasingly predatory toward the some of the most vulnerable people in our society - a growing population of unemployed professionals who are desperately seeking work. It only makes sense that now they want in on the action on Facebook. This application advertises that it will help you keep your professional and private life separate on Facebook. Only someone who hasn't spent much time online would believe this...right? Ever heard of Google? Prospective employers who are SEO and SMO savvy are going to investigate EVERYTHING that is readily available before they hire an employee anyway, so it is important to ALWAYS remember this when posting anything online. So don't be posting photos that could keep you from being employable in your desired (or any related) fields, and keep your opinions about controversial topics such as politics and religion within what is normally considered "mainstream" thought. It's OK to express personal opinions, but online is not the place to let your freak flag fly if there is any chance you'll be looking for a job (or new clients) in the future (remember, these photos and files are often cached on the search engines looooong after they're deleted).
One thing that might be useful about this app, however, is that while it won't protect you from being personally investigated by a potential employer or client, it might protect your online relationships with your friends, who may not be in a good position to help you find work, and don't want to read about your job-hunting efforts on a regular basis. With all of this "business" stuff being confined to one app, they can simply block the app if they wish, and continue to read your other updates in their news feed.
HERE is more about the app - it works pretty much like most Facebook apps. You have to give it permission to scan your and your friends' profiles and glean every last bit of private data it can before you can even use it. Since its primary target is the job seekers, what are the chances you're going to meet someone through this app that wants to help you find a job? Very slim. It will be interesting to see if the creators are able to publish any success rates -only time will tell.
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking.