Workforce.com

Todd Raphael, Online Editor

February 2, 2000
Several years ago I hired a Wisconsin grad who was twice my size. A Napoleon complex kicked in, and I borrowed a professor's ID at a local university to start using the campus weight room.

Over time, I noticed people were leaving the weight room and heading to the computer center, exploring a new-fangled operation called the World Wide Web.

I stopped lifting weights, lost 10 pounds of muscle (leaving me with none), and started spinning the web. The medium was quite raw...finding a site through a search engine was like posting a "lost kitten" sign and then waiting by the phone. Lots of close calls, but tough to find what you want.

I wasn't quite sure what was to become of this medium, but knew it was here to stay (if only I'd been stock-market savvy at the time).

Every kid from every corner of America could have access to the Library of Congress as quickly as you could say "Yahoo!" And to think...all those years we wasted in a futile attempt to memorize the Dewey Decimal System.

What we know now is that the digital world is like television in its infancy-before cable, pay-per-view, V-chips, and the Home Shopping Network. It's totally changing the relationship between an organization and it's publics--customers, the media, employees, and others. I used to conduct media training, teaching spokespeople how to get their messages placed in print and broadcast media. Before the Internet, the key challenge was in getting a message to spread. With the dawning of cyberspace, the challenge is often to control the rapid spread of information.

HR's plunge into cyberspace is just beginning, too, and the potential is unlimited. The Internet has transformed recruiting. It's ushered in a new generation of Intranets saving HR departments time and money. It's led to a wave of HR CD-ROMs, newsgroups, training software, online assessments, and more.

Workforce.com is a great place to explore the new frontier. The cover stories and other feature sections have self-assessments, sample policies, and comparison surveys to explore how issues affect you.

The site has legal information, a News Poll, cartoons, off-the-wall stories, and a valuable Research Center.

Custom-made Peer Groups allow you to contact and network with your peers, whether you're looking for someone by company size, industry, job function or location. "Work Views" at the "Buzz" section let you speak out on controversial issues in business, sports, entertainment and politics that affect the workforce.

Members also receive a weekly e-mail update, featuring the latest HR buzz and news.

Workforce.com works to keep the Web site on the cutting-edge of HR and digital publishing. Let us know what you'd like to see more of, less of, or if you just want to voice an opinion on an issue.

Enjoy your visit, and come again. There's something new in HR every workday, and every workday there will be something new on Workforce.com. If that ever changes, we can always go back to pumping iron.

Contact me at raphaelt@workforce.com.