Surprisingly, Zillow gets glowing compliments from the five workers who contributed to workplace gossip Web site Glassdoor.com, a side venture of Zillow Chief Executive Rich Barton.
The Sausalito, Calif.-based venture, which opened to the public late Tuesday, lets people anonymously talk about their workplaces and share salary information. It’s led by Barton and other former Expedia executives, including Robert Hohman and Erik Blachford.
Salaries are Glassdoor’s Zestimates — the razzle dazzle that’s supposed to make it really informative — but they may be less reliable since they’re based on anonymous user tips rather than the algorithms and public information that Zillow uses for its home value estimates.
With Barton’s marketing flair and workers’ growing angst about job security, the site may take off, but it gives me deja vu.
A bunch of Web sites tried similar things during the dot-com days, Locally, Trenchmice made a stab at tech workplace gossip a few years ago.
But it’s hard to compete with Vault.com, a New York-based site that’s been doing the same thing since 1996. Vault doesn’t have the polished Web 2.0 community feel of Glassdoor.com. It actually became stodgy and dull as it morphed from gossip into a professional career tool. But it still has a workplace information empire based on 2 million posts from users.