In case you didn’t know, Honey and I are both part of the Brazen Careerist network, which we both love. Up until a few weeks ago, Brazen was a blog network on steroids comprised of young professionals between the ages of 20 – 30 (ie Generation Y), but they recently re-launched themselves as a full-on social network and online tool for jobseekers and headhunters. The focus of the revamped Brazen is now around “ideas,” that is, instead of highlighting experience, which recent college graduates likely don’t have, the emphasis is on the ideas and content that the individual users are producing.
The Good: This is a cool idea that is going to appeal to Gen Y’ers who are looking to network with other 20-somethings who love to write and share ideas on the Internet. Don’t have a job or unsatisfied at being a corporate drone at age 25? Brazen is perfect for you because the network is full of folks exactly like that and there is a TON of content being produced around related themes.
The biggest new feature is the Ideas Feed, which is a collection of your comments, links, and blog posts that are connected with the Brazen Network. This is similar in look and operation to a feed on Facebook, with the content (hopefully) focused on professional thoughts and activities. That way, a potential contact or employer could scan your feed and see exactly what it is you’re all about. That could be a little scary, especially if you’re content is pretty raw like mine (or Honey’s), so it really depends on what your goals are with the network. If you have a job and simply wish to blog and connect with other bloggers via the Brazen network, this could be perfect. If you’re really looking for a job and expect a potential employer to scan your feed, you’d better think about what you’re writing. As you can see from the screenshot of my feed, the word “fuckers” is probably not going to score me a job anytime soon…
The Bad: With Brazen 1.0, I could be a random user, surf into the site, and get served 5-6 cool posts per day about social media, the corporate experience, and nearly anything else right on the front page. Now, users are required to log in (Facebook Connect is an option) and there’s a bit more work to find content. For starters, you have to be “fans” of people or a member of a group for the content to show up in your Fan Feed. Okay, but how do I know who I want to be a fan of? Yeah, I know what you’re saying, boo-hoo, I have to suck it up and read around, but I seriously miss the old front page of Brazen where some of the best content was in your face immediately. For me, this is a little like going to nytimes.com and NOT being able to scan headlines and articles. Whereas previously I would surf into Brazen on a daily basis to read headlines, now I login maybe twice a week to see what’s going on.
(New Brazen homepage…where’s the content?)
If I had one recommendation for Ryan, Ryan, and Penelope, it would be to throw everything from the Features page right on the homepage of Brazen…or, you can do like I did and bookmark that page so it’s what I visit before even logging in.
Conclusion: Love the idea of centering a social network around ideas, it’s the way it should be. Can’t wait to see more features and improvements as the network grows.