Today, I noticed something odd. A fluff piece, with no clear intention or point, that was created to show support. Normally fluff pieces aren’t my style anyway, especially when they don’t deign to answer the 5 Ws of journalism (as a reminder, those are Who, What, Where, Why, and When), but this one really vexes me for at least one more reason than a lack of any substance: When was the rest of our community going to start talking about this situation?
We have an very visible social media professional disgraced or at least caught out in an error. We have an employer who was willing to pay a rather mind staggering salary to someone that they haven’t checked out thoroughly. From one aspect, it doesn’t really matter if Ms. Miller did or did not lie. It doesn’t matter if she did or did not officially graduate from college. It doesn’t matter that an employer didn’t think it necessary to scrutinize a candidate for such a high level position.
What does matter is that we have a professional field that hasn’t touched this topic with a ten foot pole, aside from one of the fluffiest fluff pieces I’ve ever seen. At 5:14 PM on 12/12/12, there were 113 shares of this article, if you combined all the ways to share it.Other sources (my search results) show even less sharing.
Wow, for social media professionals, we sure aren’t using social to talk about this, are we? Is it out of respect for a fallen comrade? Should it be? Is it stunned silence? For an industry that is supposed to be cutting edge and filled with quick thinkers, one would hope not. Yes, it’s not the best situation. Yes, Ms. Miller, you have our sympathy. Probably, as long as this really all was an accident or an oversight (yes, I said it).
Where are the analytical blog posts, discussion on the myriad ways this could have been handled, what we should take away from this situation, or what it means to us as social media professionals? Where are the nauseating rehash posts?
Where are any posts?
Either Ms. Miller lied or she didn’t. Either the University of Michigan needs to seriously look at their verification standards or they don’t. Do I really care either way? No. Did she do her job well while she had it? That’s not something I have an opinion on, as I haven’t really analyzed the work of her department in any detail. However, I think that’s really all that can be judged by us and I don’t even see any of that.
So what do you think?
- Does this matter?
- Is there a good reason for the silence?
- Do you care?
- Is there a lesson we should all learn, besides make sure your resume is correct before submitting it anywhere?
- Regardless of how the story broke (which was pretty weaselly) should social media professionals be silent?
- Do you need a college degree of any type to be a social media professional?
- Does her [possible] lie taint the work that she did for her employer or our profession?
What are your thoughts*?
Update: I cannot tell a lie, seeing this on LinkedIn on 2/7/2013, over a month since this occurred, caused me to tilt my head.
*No, not about if she lied or not. We’re not in court and it’s none of our business.