Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Online Reputation

The following online articles uncover a scary big brother scenario for the future of our reputations inhibiting one's ability to gain future employment due to some silly college photographs posted onto a college website such as facebook and myspace:


Goffman's "Presentation of Self in Everyday Life" boiled down in wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Presentation_of_Self_in_Everyday_Life
Listen to: NPR on "Startups Help Clean Up Online Reputations" http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6462504
Business Week Online: "Are Online Reputations Portable?" http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/techbeat/archives/2005/11/are_online_repu.ht

The reality is that college students are getting slammed by future employers and barred from jobs due to an evening of normal college rite of passage. College students are being educated about the new horrors that await them due to their "fun times" they want to share with their friends. Perhaps the education should go the other way around towards employers as well. Employers that use such tactics for employment should be boycotted with a list of their names published for their "police state" tactics. Companies also happen to hire consulting companies to do the dirty work for them and they should be sifted out as well.

In the meantime, a company helping to protect the innocent from these busy bodies is Reputation Defender. http://www.reputationdefender.com/ Much like the way a credit repair agency would operate, Reputation Defender uses competer technology and human search ingenuity to locate damaging content about an individual and have it removed for a fee.

Reputation Defender has a brilliant idea and I give it 5 stars! In the meantime, more needs to be done to right back to defend our lives and freedoms from this invasive behavior. Start listing the names of these human rights violators! Fight back!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Who should use a blog?

There seem to be two opinions in the blogging world as to whom should be allowed to blog for their company. One group believes that it should be open to all employees while another group believes that blogging should only be reserved for the executives or CEO. Both groups propose good arguements and both are right depending on the individual company. When not considering the individual company and instead dealing with this issue in one bold decisive stroke, then the answer is with the group that blogging should be reserved for only the executives or the CEO of a company.

Blogging is a form of communication and all communication that goes outside of a company must be reviewed to ensure many things including accuracy and legality of the statements. Regardless of company spin - a company can get into a great deal of legal problems if their statements are misleading, false, or worse.

Blogging opens casual channels of communication - but casual does not mean unrestrained and careless. Frank conversations can be held with company VIPs that more accurately portray the company's cohesive stance on a given issue beeing discusses as the person answering such blogs is also the company decision maker.

Opening blogging up to anyone in the company could easily result in many distaters including misleading, misrepresenting, and miscommunicating the company's position to a blog post. People interested in a company want to hear from the top people anyway - it's like any form of journalism - a reliable source is key.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Cameras at Work?!

Microsoft used amature camera employee to capture the "real microsoft" for it's blogging customers. I wonder what Microsoft employees really felt about having a camera "let loose" in their work environment.

Camera's are becoming such an obtrusive invasion of privacy that there is talk of writing new laws along with companies banning cell phones into certain areas to remove the chance that a camera may be used through the phone.

Although Micorsoft wanted to be authenic about communicating with customers, I feel that taking a camera into the workplace is stretching too far what could have been done through a traditional blog.

Camera's are becoming a major intrusive instrument in society that it is getting to a point in which no one can relax. Besides the obvious places, such as ATMs, Elevators, Traffic Lights, ect. Camera's are being found in the following places as well taking pictures of people without their consent:
- Hidden camera's in their own home
- Residents at the gated community pool
- On school grounds by another parent
- On the sidewalk going to a meeting
- At the cash register
- The list continues . . . . .

Technology is increasing while presonal rights lag behind in obscurity. So then, where are societies limits?

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Naked Conversations

This week a new book was introduced called Naked Conversations. I found this book to be the most interesting of all the reading materials.

Naked Conversations talks about how blogging changed the perception of Microsoft from that of an "Evil Empire" to a human enterprise. I sometimes wonder if this is actually the case? Are people really so taken as to view Microsoft as a good company that cares about humanity now?

What about Bill Gates? Is he suddenly a humanitarian now that he has started giving away money to charities such as Carnegie had done during his time period?

Frankly I'm shocked that Americans have allowed some of Microsoft's "evils" to be glossed over due to their social corporate directives. I think it is good that companies "give". However - the biggest giving seems to be completely missed by many American consumers!

Of the things that Microsoft and Bill Gates are giving away are American jobs!! Bill Gates and Microsoft will never be able to give enough until they put their priorities where they count most - back to the country that gave them the freedoms and economics to become the man and company they are today.

I've run into many an ignorant person who believes that Americans losing their jobs will teach this country a lesson and teach us to be more competive . . . . Honey - have you ever lived through a major recession? I have!!

I've seen small towns wiped out in less than a year, family farms that were passed on through generations gone in a month, people lose their houses that no one will or can buy because everyone is walking away from their mortgage payments they can't pay! Baby parts of this country went through a depression (recession - ha ha) in the 80s that most people don't know about . . .(shhhhhhhh!)

It wasn't pretty to live through or see. Preying on people in order to move programs to be written up in India or other cheap labor countries in the name of "global competition" is as competitive as canibolizing your own family. Microsoft has enough money to cover the appropriate costs to do the right thing.

Perhaps now that Bill Gates has taken a few lessons from Andrew Carnegie in donating to the community he should now take a few lessons from Henry Ford in providing enough employment to the American workers that also make them his customers.

Henry Ford changed the economics in this country by doing the most baffling and idiotic thing in the time of his generation - he paid his employees well! The results of doing this not only made him rich, but more importantly was the starting point in creating the middle class we have today.

If you haven't actually known people to lose their home or haven't personally seen an entire town be shut down . . . then you're theoretical answers to this are purely academic. This is real life baby!