Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Rolling (OTFLMAO) Cisco Fatty


It's job interviewing season, but don't let this happen to you.  But am I talking to interviewees or hiring companies?  A Twitter user, theconnor {now set to private} offered up the following tweet:
"Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work."
Then, Tim Levad, a Cisco "channel partner advocate" chimed in:
"Who is the hiring manager[?] I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the web."
Ugggghhh.  Cringe.  Almost immediately, there was a frenzied deluge of critical posts and Internet sleuthing.  A website was even created based on a new meme, Cisco Fatty, and Helen A. S. Popkin wrote a MSNBC article blathering on-and-on  about theconnor's faux pas and how this is a cautionary tale.  Really?  Maybe MSNBC and Popkin should try to tweet news stories under 140 characters & get to the point more.  Speaking of which...

All of this stirred the pot, as theconnor, TimLevad, and Cisco were scrutinized by the denizens of Web 2.0.  One commentor wondered why is Cisco hiring theconnor after announcing layoffs.  While there may be a good reason, it nevertheless highlights the unpredictability of Web 2.0 and how perceptions can take on a life of their own, particularly after a story goes viral.

theconnor herself  offered up a very even-handed mea culpa post-mortem of the situation.  
"Cisco never did anything to me. I have no complaints about the company and apologize for any damage this situation has done to their image in anyone’s mind. What started as one individual calling me out quickly escalated into a major schadenfreude event, which in turn has quickly escalated into a media bandwagon."
I saw this story evolve and I must admit I was irked by MSNBC's snarky coverage of it.  The story is all about tapping into readers' insecurities about the current job market and warning employees about how they really need to be mindful of Web 2.0, so they're not the subject of the next epic fail.  It served to fan the flames of anger towards theconnor, as one of the "haves" who not only has a job, but one that makes bank.  Popkin chastises theconnor:
"It’s like virtual Darwinism. The 'Cisco Fattys' of the world are damned by their own senselessness."
but what are the real implications here?  Senselessness?  Well, Popkin has committed to the web a bunch of senselesness of her own, but, oh, wait, she's a journalist...who needs to do more frackkin' journalism.  Here's 1,070 words by her on Twitter that totally misses the point and offers up no insights.

I'll serve up some on this Cisco (not to be confused with Sisqo)/theconnor/MSNBC issue:
  • There is no such thing as privacy
  • Perceptions are volatile & are hard to control
  • Perceptions can be shaped by those with pageviews
  • Media and journalism are often about pageviews, not about good content, let alone good  journalism
  • Web business processes like commenting/responding need to be articulated into policies

I'm sort of curious on your take on theconnor, Tim Levad, MSNBC, Cisco, etc.

I'll leave you all with Colbert to give the final word on Twitter:



Kenneth M. Kambara said...

This blog also discusses the MSNBC article. At first, I hated the take, but I think there were some worthwhile issues. 1. Will firms and HR peeps give up on monitoring/caring about employees activities/posts? Lord, I hope so. Unless an employee is strongly linking Web 2.0 content to the workplace, I'm of the mind that such big brother tactics are a waste. HR people might make arguments of "character" or "fit," but I think monitoring after-hours behaviors is just allowing for "cherrypicking" reasons to get rid of employees. 2. What are the implications for all of this personal electronic content is out there? The blog wonders what will the Web 2.0 generation be like in 10 years. Well, I think the world will be a different place, in terms of all of this content. I look to adult content as an example. Twenty years ago, the diffusion of pornography was limited in terms of access and distribution channels. Now, access is much more widespread (albeit still a taboo topic in many circles). So much so that community standards of "obscenity" now make once slam-dunk prosecutions problematic. BTW: the online porn capital is...Utah.

Kenneth M. Kambara said...

Like with adult content, the public will just come to accept the Web 2.0 world.

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