Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Little reminders that help no one.


Had my first round of classes this past weekend and found most people were fairly receptive to some of the ideas I was pushing. The whole weekend class experience waqs pretty great and I hope to eventually do it again once I work some of the kinks out of my own curriculum.

Along with basic technology and computer skills for some, I also had one section where I got to talk about using online tools to find a job. Essentially, I was teaching an hour-long course in personal branding.

My whole thesis is built around the idea that job-seekers need to do more than just print off their resumes and hand them out like candy. They need to show they are connected with their industry and constantly learning to do new things to stay relevant. Basically, they need to have more about themselves online than just a few Drunk Party Pics posted by their idiot friends.

And I walk them all through how to do this professionally and safely... not to mention for free.

Still, there are some who have been whipped into a froth by Chris Hansen and are convinced the internet is full of nothing but Terrorists and Pedophiles. Their fear is that by posting ANYTHING online, they will sucked into the computer and never seen from again.

"But, wait, hold the phone... if I post my name on the Internet, then people will steal it and use it to stalk me." (actual question/comment from a student)

Remembering all the open records tools I used in my journalist days, I reminded her that without even turning on a computer, I could find out her home address, phone number, home price, utility bills, voting record, political contributions, kids names, what school they go to, tax records, how many and what kind of cars she owned, and (if she used a public library) what books she reads...

Sometimes, I should just keep my mouth shut.

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