Why are markets for people horrifically bad?
Finding the right hire? Extremely difficult.
Finding someone reasonable to date? Darn near impossible.
The market makers--job sites, dating sites, extract a lot of value in the middle and never really seem to come through.
I think part of the reason is the lack of data and how to understand it. I want to throw my blog at a dating site and have it understand the semantics: The food I eat, the sports teams I follow, the career I'm in, and the places I frequent. But why stop at my blog? Throw in Twitter, last.fm, del.icio.us, and Flickr, too.
Sites like Spoke, Naymz, and Rapleaf will just point to people and their digital footprints, but no one really takes the time to understand them across various services.
It's pretty obvious that I'm a Met fan, regardless of what I list in any prepopulated field on a social networking site. I've talked about the Mets on my blog and I have Flickr pics of Shea Stadium.
Careerwise, it's also pretty obvious that I know something about social media from my digital presence...but the search that people really want is who in NYC has 4-8 years experience and just talks about "users" the most.
Its not just more data, but also understanding the data in its context.