Jed Cohen

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Virtual Internships in the Wall Street Journal

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I was quoted (dare I say featured?) in an article in the Wall Street Journal about virtual internships yesterday.  It mentions my experiences working as a virtual intern for both Careerealism and Squidoo.  Both have been amazing experiences that have taught me quite a bit and also put me in touch with a whole bunch of people across the globe.

More on my overall thoughts on virtual internships later; just wanted to post this for now.

Written by Jed

September 30th, 2009 at 10:22 am

Squidoo, Followers or Friends, and Twitter on the TV

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So this is the first of my experimental series of mini-posts; just a few thoughts on some things I’ve come across recently.  As/if I write more detailed entries, I’ll insert links.

Squidoo Internship

Remember that Squidoo internship I wrote about a little while ago?  Happy to say that I was selected for it and have been working on it for the last few weeks or so.  There’s five of us; we’re a mixture of experienced Squidoo lensmasters, bloggers, left- and right-brainers.  We’re putting together a few different things now, and while they’re still in the planning phase, stay tuned!  I personally find what we’re doing is really exciting, the people I work with are incredibly engaging and remarkable, and I’m looking forward to seeing our efforts grow over the course of the next month and a half (the internship ends mid-October).

Followers versus Friends

Brazen Careerist has chosen a follower model for their (somewhat) new social network.   Instead of becoming “friends” with someone, you become their fan, and as a result all of their activity across the site is added to your feed.  It’s an interesting choice, and one that many new social networks must make.  In a follower model, you may end up with all sorts of skewed network dynamics (some might say weak ties if they span interest groups) due to the single sided nature of the relationships.  On the other hand, you have the reciprocity principle driving people to follow back and complete the two way relationship – something that defeats the point of establishing a one-way relationship network.  Brazen Careerist is not LinkedIn, and it of course serves a different function.  But I wonder how Brazen Careerist’s network will grow given this one-way relationship, and what we will be able to learn from comparing it to LinkedIn.

Fringe “Tweet-peat”

I watched the “Tweet-peat” of Fringe on Fox last night (I happen to like the show), and it’s an interesting concept.  They had a number of producers and cast members responding to viewer questions and providing thoughts throughout the show, which they both broadcast on @FRINGEonFOX and over the airing of the episode on the TV.  It’s an interesting blending of new media and old.  I’ve seen this done before, like with Current TV’s election coverage, but it’s nice to see the larger networks hopping on the bandwagon.  One thing though: they only broadcast the tweets of the producers and cast on the TV, so it was like listening to half a conversation.  It would have been much better had they put the questions and answers up, so we could follow along.  Or better yet, they could also have had a streaming version of the episode so we wouldn’t have to watch two screens to get the whole picture – it was a bit distracting.  There’s another tweet-peat tonight of Glee, which I actually don’t plan on watching, but I wonder if they’ll take the lessons they learned from last night and apply them tonight.

Written by Jed

September 4th, 2009 at 12:05 pm

How Do You Do, Squidoo?

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One of the pretty very interesting people I follow on Twitter is Susan Villas Lewis.  I started following her because someone (I forget who) tweeted about her job search.  Instead of going out and submitting resumes, Susan decided to hire a boss.  Which I think is awesome.  It’s an amazing, creative spin on the often frustrating job hunt and something I wish I had thought of myself – although I don’t have anywhere near the kind of qualifications Susan has.  Anyway, a few days ago she tweeted about this internship at Squidoo with Megan Casey, the Squidoo Editor-in-Chief.  Seeing as to how my internship with Careerealism is ending soon, I’ve decided to go ahead and apply.

You know, it’s kind of funny that through my college career, when people often intern everywhere, I basically worked in one place.  Now that I’ve graduated, I’m applying for internships even with a full time job.

But that’s beside the point.  The point is that the application process is to create a Squidoo lens featuring what you’ve done.  So I did.  It’s all about my undergraduate degree, and it’s kind of a chronological walk through my experience at Gallatin.  Check it out (although some of the content was featured here, so it may be a bit of a repeat).

I’ve been working on it for the last few days, and it was an interesting experience.  Any Squidoo lens consists of a series of modules, and you can mix and match modules to create the layout you want.  It’s an interesting system, kind of a mixture of blogging and outside sources of content.  I was able to tie in videos, photos, and Amazon listings into the lens, and it’s that last bit that is particularly interesting.

Squidoo’s revenue is split, 45% to the company, 5% to charity, and 50% to the writer.  And it’s across your lens, so it includes Amazon referrals and Google ad revenue.  I like that they let you donate everything to charity (which is what I’ve done).  I also see the potential for spam – don’t you?

Overall, creating the lens was quite a fascinating and reflective experience, even if I’m not selected for the internship.  I also wonder how many people have joined Squidoo in hopes of landing a position (by the way, Megan commented on the internship announcement saying they’ve already received 50 submissions, so this ought to be interesting), so from that perspective alone I find this interesting.

Do you use Squidoo?  If so, how?  I’m going to start working on another lens soon, but I need some ideas.  Leave a comment and let me know what you think I should write on!

Written by Jed

August 6th, 2009 at 10:05 pm