In the aftermath of the Mark Jen Saga, a couple people have some advice for our famous ex-Google employee and blogger. Scobleizer offers the following advice for bloggers now looking for work and to Jen in particular:
I told Mark pretty much the same thing. He has quite a bit of fame
now and everyone is watching to see what he’ll do. I’d translate that
interest into a media thing.
If I were Mark I’d focus on a niche. And own it. Talk about it 15
times a day. Link to everyone in that niche. Demonstrate that he can be
professional (hint: that means proper capitalization on sentences Mark!
Seriously, that really is hurting your image. I’d fire you just for
communicating that way). Demonstrate that he can be passionate.
Positive. Helpful. Accurate. Informative. Friendly.
Think about the attribute you want in your coworkers. And live that.
I want to hang around geeks. People who love building things. I’ve made
my entire career about just that.
The proprietor of Make You Go Hmmm had the following to say:
Here’s just a few things Jen could do, IMO, and post haste, if he
wants to start establishing and/or regaining some decent level of
- Get off of blogspot.com and onto his own server,
with his own domain not controlled by or underneath the power of the
place that he’s writing about. Yes, this takes money and being that
Jen just got fired, he might not have the extra cash to setup his own
blog and pay for the bandwidth himself. With Jen’s current notariety,
though, he could swing some sort of hosting deal and maybe something in
exchange for advertising (he should disclose any deals, of course).
Bottom line though: as long as he blogs under the place that already
had his posts removed once, what is to stop them from having it happen
- Set parameters for what he’s going to blog about next.
The fired from Google story has about five minutes of the 15 minutes of
fame left, so he should lay the groundwork for what he’s going to be
blogging about over the long haul so that prospective employers know
what they are getting into. For him, more than perhaps any other person
on the planet right now, this is extremely important. His closing
statement in his blog post: "if you have a corporate blogging policy, i
promise i’ll follow it" rings more than a little hollow in light of all
that has transpired to date. He’s going to need much, much more than a
sentence or two to bring back his credibility and now is the time to
start showing — through multiple blog entries about subjects other
than his Google firing — what his true skills are and what he can do
for his next employer.
- Write about what his strengths and what positive skills he can offer a prospective employer.
Make his blog his virtual resume. With the kind of attention and
exposure he’s going to get over the next week or two, he has a golden
opportunity that he’ll probably never, ever receive again to display
his best. The plan should be not to squander this exciting opportunity.
One way he could squander this is by becoming the William Hung of blogging: don’t milk out the Google thing! I fear though, that’s what we’re going to get. I sure hope I’m wrong.
- Prepare and publish via Creative Commons a suggested template of blogging guidelines for employers to use.
Possibly nobody knows better than the blogger who violated those rules,
what lines should be drawn in the sand and where it should be painfully
obvious to new employees what they should and should not blog about if
they don’t want to lose their job. This would be helpful to employers and helpful to employees. Seek out those who already have worked on this information in preparing this outline and network with others who have had trouble related to blogging as resources.
- Do not bash Google in any way, shape or form for a long, long time! Mark
Jen is going to be seen as the poster child for bias against Google
perhaps forever heretofore and any sort of negative commentary about
them is going to be seen as further evidence of disrespect. His
opportunity for player hating against Google is over as any negative
commentary he makes is going to go against him, not Google, in most
people’s eyes. After at least six months of reestablishing himself he
might be able to start speaking about Google products or services
without people saying: "Oh yeah he’s that bitter guy who got fired by
Google." His best course of action is to take the high road, as Google
has been doing with this mess.
My personal opinion because I do not know and have never met Mr. Jen
personally or professionally from evaluating all that has happened and
have read is that this guy has squandered an incredible,
ripe opportunity with a company which many deem as the place to
work for these days. While it’s easy for all of us not in Mr. Jen’s
shoes to be the Monday morning quarterback here, the most sensible
thing for those who actually know and care about Mark is to get him to
do the right things from here forward. Get him to go into the right damage control mode!
I think it would be sad to see Jen pulling a William Hung here, but
if that’s the route he wants to go, then there’s certainly an audience
for that crap. I can pretty much guarantee that this will be my last
post on this matter for a long time to come unless there’s a
significant new development, so Jen’s exposure as William Hung on this
blog has pretty much been spent.
The better route towards earning professionalism and credibility for
Jen is likely to actually listen to the advice of those who aren’t
getting in trouble with those they work for over blogging and at the
same time already have some significant presence in the blogosphere.
Sources like Technorati, Pubsub and Feedster should help in addition to
the bloggers Mr. Jen has already spoken to. With limited searching I
found some good advice out there for him. I wish you good luck, Mr. Jen
and hope we won’t be hearing a botched version of Rocket Man coming
from your microphone heretofore: "And I think it’s gonna, be a long long time …"
All about rebranding yourself after a fall, I guess. Makes sense to me.