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I have worked in IT for twenty one glorious years, never thought I could see the day. Programming languages come and go, fads, fashions, websites I’ve pretty much seen it all. There is one thing that has constantly cropped up in my profession, fake advertisements.

To start off with it was agencies posting fake IT positions on JobServe (and hey, it still happens). In Northern Ireland they calculated that 50% of the agency positions are made up. No shock there. But it’s not just the IT job market, oh no.

If you have a Boeing 737-200 for sale, for example, you’d expect any sort of “exchange and mart” sort of sale to happen. I’ve got a plane, you want a plane, let’s talk! No. I’ve got a plane, and ten brokers want a piece of the action as well. And in time and honoured tradition of the fake job ads in the IT world there’s a bunch of made up aircraft for sale or rent notices as well. I’m sure it happenes in every other domain that exists.

Back to my Boeing 737. The senario is:

Owner -> Broker->Broker->Broker->Broker->Broker->Broker->End User

You could add an infinate number of brokers in that chain, it would eventually end somewhere. Each of them is trying to claw their 1% commission for referring a sale. It’s the same as estate agent and just as sleasy. Letters of intent mean nothing…. neither does an NDA.

Money is not made on data alone, it is made up on the quality of data. I’ve used the aviation industry as an example as it’s one that I know an awful lot about from the startsup I’ve done over the last four years. It’s all about signal to noise, something I’ve blogged about before with Twitter and the alarming number of data I seem to amassing. To gather meaningful data is becoming more of a pain.

I’m working on some tools for the aviation sector but I am constantly aware of just becoming another signal to noise service, providing more noise and what constitutes as free advertising (“as long as my phone and email address are on the site, that’s all I care about!” sort of mentality).

The question should really be how to cut out the noise.