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February 23rd, 2013

By Philip Turner in: Media, Blogging, Internet; Urban Life & New York City

“Oh, No, Google, Don’t Pull a Hiring Bait & Switch!”

Despite the wording of the above tweet @GoogleLocalNYC is not really hiring, and it’s very unfortunate they’re making this claim anywhere, particularly in social media. Having been selected as a Google NYC Neighbor last spring, and after hearing a lot about community managers the past few days during NYC’s annual Social Media Week, it struck me this could be a position I’d be good at, so I clicked on their link, only to discover that while there are indeed positions to be filled, Google isn’t really doing the hiring. This is the first thing to be read when you visit the site with hiring info.

Important Notes:
Most positions are Temporary, Contract roles ( ~6 months to begin), hired via 3rd-Party staffing agency (i.e., not working directly for Google). We cannot make any guarantees about full-time Google employment opportunities at the conclusion of the Temporary contract, however the Local CM team is a great way to grow your career.

I find this a classic bait & switch, HR-style, contrasted with the literal message of the tweet. I note also that their final sentence, extolling the virtues of this experience for prospects,even though you may not end up working full-time at Google, is the arrogance that many hiring mangers display nowadays. The implicit message is similar to what interns hear, too:

“Just remember–you’re lucky to have any work at all.”

I know it’s a hirer’s market, with job-seekers lacking leverage, but is it too much to expect that dishonesty–or at best, carelessness–be banished from corporate hiring practices? The whole thing is unworthy of Google. I hope they take note of my reply, delete their original tweet, and revise any similar messaging they’re putting out. I’ll note it here if they do, and whether I get any kind of reply.


January 26th, 2013

By Philip Turner in: Books & Writing; Media, Blogging, Internet

A Twitter Two-Way w/Sherman Alexie

After reading this tweet from writer Sherman Alexie this morning, I sent him the reply below it.

I’ll note here if I hear from him.

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December 19th, 2012

By Philip Turner in: Media, Blogging, Internet; Philip Turner's Books & Writing

Please Follow Me on Twitter

I’m continuing to post and share items on my Facebook page, but in 2013 will also be ramping up my use of other social networks–especially Twitter, sharing material that I don’t always put on Facebook. If you’re on Twitter and want to follow me there, please do so–my handle is @philipsturner. You may sample the tweets on my profile page by clicking on this link or see a screenshot of the page below. At the upper right corner of this site, you may join me on any of the social networks where I’m active. I have other initiatives in mind for The Great Gray Bridge in 2013 and look forward to introducing them in the weeks and months to come, including publication of guest posts by other writers on key topics. As always, thanks for reading and sharing my enthusiasms and interests.

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August 15th, 2012

By Philip Turner in: Books & Writing; Technology, Science & Computers

Good Advice on Twitter Bios & Web IDs

This is an excellent advice blog post by publishing and writing maven Jane Friedman, on crafting one’s Twitter bio and more broadly, your online identity. One of her most salient tips:

[A] little bit of personality is more often than not what starts a conversation on Twitter.”

Jane is an experienced and knowledgeable hand, as her full online bio attests. If you’re on Twitter and a writer, I suggest you follow her. If you wonder how she does her own Twitter bio, here it is:

I share links on writing, publishing & tech. Web editor for @vqr + former publisher of @writersdigest. Bourbon lover & Hoosier native.
Charlottesville, VA, USA ·
I’m mulling her advice, including the point about not necessarily using a list to ID oneself, though haven’t yet made a stab at a revised Twitter bio. FWIW, here’s my current Twitter ID:
Blogger, editor, reader, music lover, honorary Canadian. As publisher, I’ve done Barack Obama’s Dreams From My Father & Amb Joseph Wilson’s Politics of Truth.
New York City ·
I invite you to follow my tweets too.
My own advice? Remember to be yourself, in personal and professional realms, and allow that confident presentation of self to surface in your online IDs.

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January 3rd, 2012

By Philip Turner in: Media, Blogging, Internet; Technology, Science & Computers

Media Organizations Pranking Themselves

Carl Franzen of TPM’s IdeaLab reports that for several hours today News Corp. was erroneously corroborating that the Twitter handle of @wendi_deng was in Twitter-speak a ‘verified account’. Turns out they were wrong, as was Twitter. It was really a bogus handle for a fake account. Eventually, News Corp. corrected the mistake about the wife of their corporate chairman, but that’s a pretty rad mistake for a company to make about itself. One marvels how Twitter, and especially News Corp, could have gotten something so simple so wrong.

Reading Franzen’s story, I thought of the incident that made a quiet holiday-week Wednesday hop, when the NY Times sent an erroneous email to 8 million of their own customers, including me. Like News Corp., the Times got their first response wrong, though in a way opposite to the corporate home of FOX News and the NY Post. Where News Corp. claimed a bogus account was actually real, the Times told other media and the world that a real message from the NY Times was actually spam. A few hours later the Times put out word that the message really had come from them. My post then read:

On Twitter [the Times] reported, “If you received an e-mail today about canceling your New York Times subscription, ignore it. It’s not from us.” A few hours later they had to admit this too was wrong; the message hadn’t been spam, it really had come from the newspaper. Reflexively blaming spam for the transmission of an email to 8,000,000 readers, when it was supposed to go to 300, is bad form.

Nowadays media companies are such complex organizations they’ve become quite capable of pranking themselves. What’s more, in each of these cases the companies made corporate communications mistakes, tarnishing their brand, over things they should have easily been able to avert. I detest seeing errors in books I’ve published–I get sick to my stomach the first time I see an error in a book I’ve edited–so my outlook here is informed by that. And yet, I know that I am fallible, along with other people, and that we’re all probably more mistake-prone in our screen-dominated age than in eras past. Mistakes will continue to occur in communications. But what’s inexcusable is to make errors on top of errors. Both companies here failed as organizations to correctly assess the matter at hand. I guess you might say they’re simply too complex to be simple when they need to be.

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December 23rd, 2011

By Philip Turner in: Media, Blogging, Internet

The Broken Bones of Mona Eltahawy

Mona Eltahawy, recovering from her broken bones. Photo Credit: Dan Callister for the Guardian

I met Egyptian-American writer and activist Mona Eltahawy last summer at the annual conference called the Personal Democracy Forum. She impressed me enormously then, speaking with great passion about the promise of the ongoing revolution in Egypt, and what it could mean for the whole society, especially women. I soon after began following her on Twitter and so was alarmed on November 23 when I read this frightening tweet, “Beaten arrested in interior ministry”. Among her thousands of followers the word of her uncertain fate rang far and wide over her handle @monaeltahawy and a campaign demanding her safe release quickly gathered steam. The quick response may have helped, because she did not fall into a police state black hole, emerging free about 12 hours later, with fractures to her left arm and right hand, and a horrifying tale of sexual battery by her captors. Beating a writer’s hands and arms is almost like crushing the fingers of a pianist, and she believes the assault on her limbs was no accident. As she points out in this essay for the Guardian, her first extended article since Nov. 23, “Bashar al-Assad’s henchmen stomped on the hands of famed Syrian cartoonist Ali Farzat. Our dictators tailor wounds to suit their victims’ occupations.” In one of her first tweets after she gained her freedom, Mona wrote, “The whole time I was thinking about article I would write; just you fuckers wait”. Here it is then. I urge you to read Ms. Eltahawy’s essay and follow her on Twitter. Hers is a brilliant, brave voice.