Everybody’s a middleman

I’ve been arguing that the internet kills the middlemen — home brokers, head hunters, editors….

But in another sense, the internet makes everyone a middleman in the sense that any of us can be a trusted source of a recommendation.

Tech Crunch (a wonderful blog that profiles new companies… beats what Red Herring tried to be) writes up YorZ, which enables employers to pay bounties for recommendations that end up filling jobs. I wonder how this could be gamed (my friend recommends me and I get a kickback) but it’s still a fascinating execution of an obvious notion. It takes LinkedIn and puts your money where your mouth is. I suspect this works uniquely in employment, since that’s about personal recommendations. I hope it won’t work in dating, since that comes dangerously close to pimping. I doubt it works in consumer products and services, and there the potential for corruption is high. But it’s a fascinating exploitation of an opening in the new marketplace.