One thing I'm keen to do is occasionally talk a little bit about what we're doing with Jobplot - to reveal some of the thinking that goes on behind the scenes and to let you know what we're planning.
It's still early days for Jobplot but we're pleased with how it's gone so far. Traffic's been even better than we'd hoped, the number of jobs on the board hit double figures pretty early on and we've now got just over 60 talent profiles up.
There are two extra pleasing things I've come across:
- I've never heard of some of the people who've signed up - it's great to discover people and companies; and
- I know at least one organisation has used Jobplot to find a new web designer and another company has been offered work as a result of having their profile up
The latter, especially, is very encouraging indeed.
All that said, there's still plenty of work to be done on the site to get fully up to scratch, even before we contemplate the changes and features coming in phase 2.
The site's already changed a fair bit since launch. Having a look at the ticked-off to do items in Basecamp we've:
- Added a 'music' category
- Allowed freelancers to hide their home address
- Fixed HD video embeds
- Developed an email newsletter (first one to be sent soon)
- Changed the way talent profile logos scale
- Reversed the order of the jobs and opportunities lists (newest first)
- Amended the details required when posting jobs
- Rejigged the order of the navigation links
and tweaked many (many) more things besides. We're still finding more things we want to change, partly from direct feedback and partly as user behaviour shows us more about how the site's been designed (following the words of Joshua Porter).
For example, it was pointed out early on that the site currently skews towards employers and that we haven't made it clear how potential employees can engage with the site. That was useful and we'll be solving that.
In fact, we're currently going through a thorough rewrite of much of the site's copy. We want to make everything clearer and more concise, with better explanations where they're needed.
This has been the trickiest bit from the start. People can discuss categories at impressive length, and it's something we've tried not to get bogged down in any more than strictly necessary.
We've gone for broad categories - music, architecture, design, new media, etc - with the idea that people can specify what they do via their list of skills and by tags. We preferred this over copying the standard DCMS categories.
By keeping things simple at this stage we're adopting a 'suck it and see' approach and waiting to see how people go about describing themselves. We may end up codifying some of those tags later on, perhaps by offering some suggested ones or by introducing sub-categories.
What counts as 'creative' anyhow?
This is another tricky one. After all, no-one wants to be told they're not creative. You might be surprised at how creative accountancy can be - and what about accountants who work as finance officers for arts organisations?
What seems to be emerging is that the ecology of the 'creative industries' is made up of:
- People and companies who you might consider to be the core creative talent (musicians, developers, illustrators, etc); and
- People and companies who work with and for that creative talent
With some blurring of the lines between the two.
The site is predominantly aimed at the former, but it would make sense to accommodate the latter in some way too (there seems to be a demand for it). We think we've come up with a solution for this and will be rolling that out shortly.
More feedback please
We still have a list of tweaks to make to the site to make it run that bit better. We'd love to hear from you if you've got any suggestions or if you spot anything wrong, so please let us know in the comments below.