Employment ads get the axe

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Articles - March 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Still reeling from continued migration of employers to online job sites, 2009’s mass-layoff economy dealt a serious blow to newspapers’ classified ad sections. Employment ads in The Oregonian fell 92% over the last five years and 70% in 2009 alone. Bend’s Bulletin lost 89% over three years and 65% in 2009. Oregon’s online ads fared a little better: After a 14% jump in 2007, they dropped 21% in 2008 and another 24% in 2009, while nationwide ads fell 4% and 25%, respectively.

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There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.

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