Sunday, March 1, 2009

Why our kids should remember that posting to the web is like a tattoo; permanent and hard to erase

Marketing tsar Seth Godin (check out his blog here) has a reminder for the kids out there about the consequences of posting to MySpace and other social networking sites. Too many kids believe they can post whatever they want - photos of them binge drinking, passed out, atop a table dancing and flashing their breasts - with little consequences. Seth recalls a friend who was looking to hire a housekeeper on Craigslist and used Google to check out the applicants:

"The first search turned up a MySpace page. There was a picture of the applicant, drinking beer from a funnel. Under hobbies, the first entry was, "binge drinking."

"The second search turned up a personal blog (a good one, actually). The most recent entry said something like, "I am applying for some menial jobs that are below me, and I'm annoyed by it. I'll certainly quit the minute I sell a few paintings."

"And the third? There were only six matches, and the sixth was from the local police department, indicating that the applicant had been arrested for shoplifting two years earlier.

Three for three. Google never forgets."

RB's footnote: a few years ago we rescinded a job offer to a young man who had passed our drug test and was ready to join the staff but then posted on a social networking site how he had "beat the Californian's drug testing." Brilliant. We now routinely do Google searches of all applicants.

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