Friday, December 08, 2006

Keep on bloggin'

Whatever your career aspirations, whatever you choose to do, and whatever job you interview for, whether it's your first job or your last job, you can be absolutely certain of one thing: By the time you are seated in that interview chair, the person who is about to interview you will have Googled your name. If you don't know exactly what he or she found, you are a fool. If what they found is your cutsie MySpace site, or your Livejournal diary where you've been writing about how mean your boyfriend has been to you lately... well, think about the impression they have of you. Or if what they found is your blog, but it's clear you've abandoned it, or it's full of broken links, it looks messy, and the last visible post (which they will read, you can bet on it) is full of vague ramblings and spelling mistakes, well, you might as well borrow a gun and shoot yourself in the foot. It'll be less embarassing.

Now, imagine that what they find when they Google your name is your blog. They read it. They notice that you write regularly, and intelligently, about your field of interest — whether that is music, or journalism, or biology, or aviation, or nutritional science. That you have an interesting set of links in your blogroll to relevant websites. That you proudly state your name, and display a tasteful photo of yourself. That your blog posts are well written and carefully edited, and that each one makes a point about something. They're going to think, this is an interesting person. This is a bright person. This is a person who knows what's happening in their field, and who thinks about the issues. This is a person I want to hire!

If you are a science, or history, or psychology major, and you don't see the value of blogging, and you don't wish to continue blogging, there's nothing wrong with that. If you want to keep on blogging, and write about what you had for breakfast, and use your blogs as a way to communicate with friends and family, there's nothing wrong with that, either. But on the other hand, if you continue writing critical commentary about science, or history, or psychology, you'll have an edge over your competitors in the job market who don't.

If you are an advertising major, as many of you are, remember the mantra of David Ogilvy: if you work in advertising, your hobby should be advertising. When the time comes for you to apply for a job, and you can say on your resumé, I have a blog about advertising, I guarantee you, you will get noticed. And when your prospective employeer Googles your name, and looks at your blog, and sees that you've been writing interesting, relevant commentary on advertising; that you're up on the latest ads; that you know which agencies handles which accounts; that you care about the business — you will get hired.

Finally, to the journalism majors: if you haven't enjoyed blogging; if you hated having to write your opinion twice a week; if you don't enjoy reading about what's going on in the world and in the media and commenting on it; if you felt this blog assignment was a dreaded chore, and you're glad it's over; if you abandon your blog — you should think seriously about changing your major.

If you aspire to be a journalist, and you don't have a blog that you can proudly show to your prospective employer at a job interview, that job will go to the person who can.

In my opinion, not as a professor but as a reader, a consumer of media, these are the best blogs that this class has produced. If you want to work on developing your blog into something to be proud of; something that will help get you hired one day, you would do well to learn from these examples. I hope that these students keep on bloggin', because I want to keep on readin':

Faith Chihil
Lauren Gruenstein
Nicole Lieurance
Jeff Macias
Amir Masood
Tomoyo Ohashi
Billy Passerino
Loan Vu
Brittany Welby
Evie Smith
Actually, I hope that all 73 of you keep on bloggin'!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Best of your blogs last week

Evie Smith has the best excuse I've ever heard for not blogging: she was busy making a film in which she critiques advertising. I hope you'll all watch it.

Brooke Carpenter discovers the newest wacky and wonderful thing on the Internet, called "Meez."

Andrea Frainier finds a new product, and gives it a better name than the product marketers who invented it.

About that excruciatingly awful Bank of America "One" video

You guys need to get a better understanding of what YouTube is.

YouTube is a place where people post videos of whatever they feel like, for fun, and for no other reason. It is not where huge companies like Bank of America buy media time for their advertising.

The infamous "Bank of America U2/One" video is NOT A TELEVISION COMMERCIAL.

Big companies like BoA frequently have corporate gatherings — parties, retreats, dinners, etc. — for the purpose of employee bonding or what's called "internal marketing." Because Bank of America recently completed a merger with another financial company called MBNA, they held one of these events.

For reasons you may come to understand once you've been working in the corporate world for a couple of years (and, truthfully, maybe not even then), groups of empoloyees (or "teams") frequently, at these types of events, put on skits, or perform songs. Years ago I worked at a high-tech company and led a group of marketing managers in the creation and performance of a skit that mocked one of our senior executive, a female vice president who was known for having a fondness for the color purple. I dressed up like her. Well, all I did was wear purple — and everyone understood that I was "playing" her.

But NO ONE FILMED ME DOING THAT. My god; if they had, I certainly never would have done it.

That's what you saw in that video. You saw a couple of BofA guys doing a skit at a corporate party. It was supposed to be private (and, even then, would have been embarassing enough). But someone in the crowd secretly filmed them, and put the film up on YouTube, thereby causing a flurry of outcry: from the two men involved, for embarassing them. From BofA, for making the company look ridiculous. And now, apparently, from Universal Music for the unauthorized broadcast of the U2 song.

Now, get back to your blogs and discuss the issues raised by this occurrence. Issues about invasion of privacy. How far is it OK to go in the name of free speech, when on the other end of it you are causing an individual great pain. Assuming it was BofA that requested the video be taken off YouTube, do you think Google (the company that now owns YouTube) did the right thing by complying, or should they have let it stand?

Examine what YouTube has done to change the rules of media and society.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Diggin' it

If you're planning on staying in the blogosphere after our final class tomorrow, you might want to put Digg on your list of blog-related sites to explore. But before you do, read Valleywag's "The 8 People You Meet On Digg."

Speaking of scholarships

Here's a website you should bookmark, register on, and monitor:

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

How would you like $500?

The Daniel Kovach Foundation Media, Publishing, and Communications Scholarship awards $500 four times a year to college students majoring in any field of media, publishing, or communications.

I know 73 students who are eligible. The next application deadline is December 15, so get going.

Save the Titanic

Perhaps the saddest thing about the statement published today on the Save The Merc website is that they still have a classified ads call center.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm a sucker for nostalgia, and it's always sad to see four hundred year old institutions die, but the death knoll sounded for Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen the day Craigslist was born, and stopping your ears with cotton won't stop the ringing. The invention of Internet communications simply negated much of the value newspapers once provided.

Monday, December 04, 2006

What you should be blogging about this week

If you haven't heard about the video of the Bank of America executives singing an appropriated version of U2's "One," and how it was posted on YouTube, and how everyone in business everywhere is cringing over it; and if you haven't read what Edelman and AdAge have said about it...

...well, do. Especially if your major is public relations.

Congratulations to Nicole!

Congratulations to Nicole Lieurance, who won second prize in the campus-wide Kite Runner Essay Contest! You may remember Nicole as the student who volunteered to test's online dating services as research for the group presentation in our class. She's been blogging about it, too.

Now, about that pizza:

I believe my promise was, if anyone in this class were to win first prize, there would be pizza for everyone, but I think maybe second prize deserves recognition too. Besides, I'm not above bribing you all to show up on Thursday, because I want you to fill out those course evaluations.

I hope to see you in class on Thursday. Bring your own beverages.