Wednesday, October 21, 2009

American Vice Presidential Candidate LinkedIn to Rescue Career

Only in America could a person striving for one of the highest positions in the country end up looking for work online.

Sarah Palin has posted her resume on LinkedIn – a social networking site with over 50 million people for professional networking and to look for jobs.

The former Alaskan governor’s profile says she is interested in: “Job inquiries, expertise requests, business deals, reference requests and getting back in touch.”

Maybe the last item on that list will prove the most challenging for the Am

WASILLA, ALASKA - NOVEMBER 4:  Republican vice...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

erican politician, whose old fashioned values conflicted with her own real world.

When Palin was Alaska’s state governor, she was very outspoken about teen pregnancy – she banned condom vending machines in public high schools, claiming that it gave teenagers the wrong message. The only way, according to Palin at the time, to avoid teenage pregnancies, was to convince kids to abstain from sex.

Though that obviously didn’t work in Palin’s own family, her young 16-year-old daughter’s impending pregnancy, and what appeared to be a hastily put together shot-gun wedding for the poor young man who got the kid pregnant, stole the spotlight from Palin’s vice presidential campaign.

So “getting back in touch” for the former governor and American vice presidential candidate may be quite the challenge – who wants to associate with someone who publicly expresses one set of values, but lives another?

Granted, it isn’t Palin’s fault her daughter got knocked up, but it does show just how out of touch her own values and beliefs are with those of society.

Ironically, Palin’s running mate during the same American federal election, John McCain, joined LinkedIn during the campaign, to participate in a section of the site called “LinkedIn Answers.” This section allows participants to ask and get responses from professionals. McCain was answering questions about the campaign, politics, and other topics to promote his presidential footprint.

However, Palin hasn’t joined the social networking site to just provide advice – she’s looking for her next gig.

This raises an interesting issue for social networking sites – what happens when celebrities join the site to network with us regular folk?

Many celebrities are already on most of the popular Internet-based social networking sites – just do a search on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or even Myspace for your favorite singer, actor, politician, or sports hero and you are bound to find them.

For the most part, these online celebrity sightings are an arms-length kind of deal. The celebrity – or more likely someone who works for the celebrity – posts short, brief, updates promoting whatever that person is working on or appearing in. They very rarely – if ever – respond to people who message them. It is usually a one-way form of communications, where you get a quick summary of their latest news.

John McCainImage via Wikipedia

Sarah Palin didn’t join LinkedIn just to share advice or information with us non-famous types, she joined to network and connect with us normal types to forward her own career.

It’s like Johnny Depp, Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise, or even President Barack Obama posting their profiles online, with the hopes of actually connecting with non-famous faces to get a job.

Now Palin isn’t the most famous person out there – she’s not wh

Photograph of the head of Johnny DeppImage via Wikipedia

at is often referred to as the so-called “A-List.” She’s not in the same category as Johnny Depp, Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise or even President Barack Obama.

But she’s still a famous person, so how does she know that those who connect with her online are on the up and up? How does she know that out of all the nuts on the Internet – of which there are many – that the people attempting to connect with her online are who they claim to be, and that they have no intention of causing her harm?

Palin is risking more than her pride by taking out a virtual job-hunting profile online. She’s risking her life, and that of her family and friends.

One of the great things about the Internet is its ability to bring people closer together, from all walks of life and from anywhere around the world.

But when a person becomes famous – or maybe that’s infamous as in Palin’s case – you give up some of those freedoms, just to protect your well being and those close to you.

The Pope Mobile – a vehicle with a giant bullet-proof clear glass enclosure -- wasn’t created to encourage and allow everyone to reach out and talk to the highest of world religious leaders. It was created because of the few crazy nuts in society that could cause the Pope – and other famous people like him – harm.

American President Barack Obama doesn’t ride around in an armored vehicle (nicknamed “The Beast”) surrounded by an army of body guards just because it’s cool. He travels this way because his fame makes him a target.

Although you can’t shoot someone over the Internet – at least not yet – you can still inflict quite a bit of damage over the net. It is easy to steal someone’s identity, destroy a person’s reputation by posing as them, or even just use the information they are foolish enough to put online to track them down in the real-world and then kidnap, rape, or kill that person or someone close to that person.

There aren’t any Pope Mobiles or armored vehicles with complimentary armies of body guards for members of LinkedIn or any of the other online social networking sites.

Love her or loathe her, Sarah Palin is taking a big risk by posting her profile on LinkedIn.

She has the right to use these sites just as everybody else. Hell after her fall from grace during the last American federal election, she can use all the help she can get. But whether or not a famous person can achieve the same benefits from these online social networking sites safely, remains to be seen.

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