Archive for the ‘Traditional Media’ Category

Fortune Encourages You To Tell Your Recession Story

Fortune, like many publications recently published an article highlighting ten unemployed Americans, and their search for a new job “Fortune: The New Jobless“. (Disclaimer: I was one of the 10 featured in the article) Like most articles, Fortune included a link that enables readers an opportunity to “discuss” what they’ve read.

However, instead of discussing the stories that are contained within the article, Fortune opted to encourage readers to engage with the article, and publication in a different way: by sharing their own story.

To me, this creative use of social media enables users to engage with the content in a much more intimate way; and, in turn, creates much more genuine commentary.

After the jump? Snippets from Fortune’s “Talkback: Tell Your Recession Story”

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Huggies & JWT: Online Advertising Done Right

Back in July/August of 2008, Huggies launched an ad campaign aptly called “Geyser,” which featured a young father carrying his son into a bedroom for a changing, and then, well, being “hosed” down by a “geyser” of, well, you get the idea. The commercial was a hit online, and according to an article by BrandWeek, published in August of 2008, the ad received 1.3 million aggregate views on sites like “YouTube, Spike and”

As of late, the commercial has reappeared on cable television as well (initially I thought it was a Superbowl advertisement, which caused me to research the ad– I hadn’t come across it online). While researching the ad, I not only came across the initial advertisement, but also a “mockumentary” entitled, “Inside the Diaper.”

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Social networking and the hunt for a new job

With 533,000 jobs lost in November alone– the largest monthly decline since the 70s, it comes as no surprise that more and more articles are popping up about how to network, find a better career, or prove your value. 

The Wall Street Journal has begun following “eight out-of-work M.B.A.s as they search for jobs in a post-meltdown world,” in an effort to empathize with the downward marketplace, and to provide a positive resource for some of the many Americans who are professionally displaced. 

None of this comes as a big surprise: as the economy changes, the media reacts, so many of the articles have been somewhat lackluster. Most recommend brushing up on new technology so that those who were laid off remain desirable and competitive; others suggest reducing your financial overhead and planning for a layoff, even if you haven’t already been laid off. And nearly every article I’ve come across in the past few months has also recommended networking with your peers. 

For those of us in the social media space, this seems incredibly natural, and almost pointless to mention. Personally, as soon as Yahoo! announced the layoffs, I started checking out the marketplace– seeing what types of jobs were available, and made sure my resume was up to date. Then, when December 10th came around, I was ready to go. 

But a quote in an article in MSNBC caught me by surprise today that seems to somewhat discredit the validity of finding a job on social networking sites. Eve Tahmincioglu, the article’s author, interviewed  Michael Stefano, assistant professor of communications at University of Buffalo for insight on social networking sites and the job hunt. 

Stefano recently conducted an experiment where he had 50 college students select 12 of their Facebook friends and ask them to help with a school project by taking a 10-minute survey. Of the 600 total asked, only one out of seven responded on average, he says. The majority did not even click on the URL to look at the survey.

Helping someone find a job will take a lot more time and energy than that, Stefano points out. While he admits there are anecdotal stories about people finding jobs via these sites, he’s “doubtful” they are statistically significant.

The article goes on to say, “there are no hard numbers that show networking portals are any more effective than picking up a phone and asking friends if they know of any work. And these sites are not far-reaching, having long been focused on professional office dwellers, not blue-collar or service-sector workers.” Granted this may be true (I couldn’t find a relevant ComScore study or Nielsen study that would say otherwise, or even tested the idea in a scientific manner) but Stefano and Tahmincioglu are completely missing the point in these initial quotes: Facebook and LinkedIn are only as reliable of a resource as the people you “friend” or “connect with” on the sites.

Layoff tips

Tips from MSNBC

Stefano argues that he had 50 students ask their Facebook friends to complete a survey and the results were dismal. Perhaps the surveyor should look at their friends, instead of the resource and compare that information. Stefano’s data is completely irrelevant unless he had a control in the study: his students should have asked the same set of 50 friends to fill out the same exact survey through a different medium– either in person, phone, IM, or email, to truly test whether or not it’s the resource or the contact that’s unreliable. 

In addition to this, to continue on saying “finding a job will take a lot more time an energy than that”– well, that doesn’t take a genius to figure out. The likelihood of someone seeing your plea for employment, knowing of a perfect opportunity, referring you, and you being hired is probably slim to none. But, the potential for one of your contacts to see your plea for employment and think of you and refer you to a friend is greatly increased by the exposure that you wouldn’t have gotten had you not posted your new unemployed status on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Tahmincioglu provides an example of this later in the article, and also suggests users create a “Web presence” by creating a social networking page and differentiating yourself by using your middle initial if there are duplicates of your name online. What Tahmincioglu fails to warn novices is that if you’re attempting to look like you “get” Web 2.0– be sure you actually do.

Make sure your online presence accurately reflects who you are in person as well. There’s nothing worse than interviewing a candidate that you Googled prior to the interview and sitting there knowing that she has a photo of herself and Ron Jeremy as her default image on Facebook (trust me, I’ve interviewed many candidates who satisfy this criteria) but sit in the interview and present themselves as incredibly professional and non de-script in person. Online and realistic parity is the best way to find success– both on and offline. 

Whatever you decide to do– whether it’s create a social networking page to make yourself more googleable, or, update your LinkedIn page to keep your professional skills up to date, be sure to reach out to the people you know first. You’d be surprised by how many referrals/connections you’ll end up with, and you’ll have the added bonus of getting past the “black box” of mindless online resume submissions by actually knowing someone at the company. Either way, good luck, and happy hunting!  

Flip shuts down, a Conde-Nast creation has announced that it’s closing its doors toFlipday. The site, which was targeted towards teens and tweens, and encouraged users to make online photo albums/scrap books is officially shutting down on December 16th.

If you have anything on, now’s the time to save it, or pull it down.

The recession/economy not only kills jobs, it kills creativity too.

Another Twitter Post — Crowdstatus

Looking to capitalize on Twitter as a news source? Why not give CrowdStatus’s NewspaperStatus a shot?

The site aggregates all of the current news tweets in one handy, post-it type layout, encouraging you to dip your toes in the news-media ocean (as opposed to the trickling stream you might get when you add each to your Twitter page).

The site is pretty comprehensive and incorporates almost all of the news outlets you would expect, and many you wouldn’t. Seems like a natural progression from old media to new media– it’s like your own personal news database.

For those of you not interested in newspapers, you can create your own crowdsource, and incorporate whatever tweets you might want to keep tabs on.

I can only imagine the total impact of a site like this within a crime fighting realm– think Amber Alerts gone global– the reach is much further than the signs on the freeway if alerts are sent straight to a user’s cell phone.

A little too much “help” from online friends…

There’s an old saying that goes “with greatness comes great responsibility”– typically this adage is applied to political leaders, philanthropists, and corporate tycoons. However, this time, I’d like to apply it to the Internet. 

It’s a great big world-wide-web out there, and it amazes me when people get caught up in the anonymity associated with a screen name or an open interface. You’ve seen it before on shows like To Catch A Predator, where unsuspecting pedophiles get nabbed for being online pervs, but now witness it within a professional atmosphere: when applying for a job.

One user, thinking he’s clever, posted to Ubuntu Forums, asking for help on his job application/survey. Little did he know, the very recruiter that sent him the survey, visited the site, resulting in a bit of an HR/hiring nightmare: 

Re: Calling All Linux Experts

Originally Posted by bradcarr View Post
If I could ever so kindly ask the Linux world for some help.   

I have applied for a job that is in a heavy Linux environment and I have been sent a questionnaire about my knowledge. I know my way around pretty good and just want double check my answers. Some of the questions and a gim-me, some take some thinking and some are just down right hard. Any and all help will be greatly appreciated.

For those who have commented, it is indeed an entry level network administration position with some Linux skills required as most of our network management tools run on Linux. I would also like to say thank you for the very sensible comments you all have made about the call for answers. And “bradcarr” while you haven’t broken the rules of my questionnaire you have definitely broken the spirit of the exercise. I did indeed say you could use any resource available to you, but didn’t it cross your mind that this might be the wrong thing to do? I want to see the “real world” ability of a potential employee, not what they can recite in an interview but what they can come up with using their normal information sources to solve a problem or research a subject.

This has shown me that you won’t take the initiative to research a problem, even when it might land you a job. I “googled” most of these questions before making the list and most of them are very easily discovered. It didn’t seem to me that I was asking too much for people to use mailing lists, forums, IRC whatever to compile the answersthemselves. I actually expected to see some questions show up on forums but I didn’t expect someone to paste the entire thing and expect the forum users to do all the work that would qualify you for an interview. I think at this point you could save us all some time and not turn the answers back in, I already have the information I need on your answers.

As far as the rest of you, if there are any of you reading this thread that live in the Nashville area that want a network administration job with some Linux work feel free to shoot me your resume at paul.tinsley (at) Oh, while you are at it, go ahead and send me the answers to the questions 

So in a world where answers are literally at your fingertips, how do you distinguish the difference between cheating, appropriating content or information, and good ‘ol Yankee ingenuity? 

Digg-ing up Old Media

Tech Crunch reported today  that sites like Digg are driving more traffic to traditional news sites rather than blog and UGC news sites.

This research essentially validates the idea that consumers, no matter how tech savvy and “on the cusp” they may be, still trust traditional sources more than anonymous bloggers who might share relevant news.

With readership of formal news sites decreasing, what criteria must a current blogger or news site satisfy in order for them to be considered a viable news source? At what point does traditional media pass the torch, or, bridge the gap between new and old media.

Blogs are the first step, but what about unconventional partnerships?