Monday, October 29, 2012

ISS and Animoto: A Window Into Bad Behavior

One of my mottos that I try to teach by is, "Only use a technology for its intended purpose." Granted, I sometimes fail in this because I get excited about a new web 2.0 application, but as a whole I'm pretty good at following my own advice. With that in mind, I'm trying hard to wrap my brain around the new ISS (International School Services) gimmick to promote its candidates to existing schools.

ISS is a big, clunky umbrella that, among other things, holds job fairs and allows teachers to set up an online portfolio for potential schools to see. Since I registered with them in August, this is what is featured on my ISS Dashboard:
A good 70% of my dashboard is filled with an Animoto promotion. For those of you that can't read mico-text, the plug is this:
Use Animoto to show why you are the perfect candidate for the job you are looking for! Look what one candidate has already done to distinguish herself as a candidate. Her Animoto (see below) is now available at the top of her profile for all the recruiters to see. You too can make the most of this new recruitment technology. It is easy to do – even for non techies - and we have created step by step instructions to show you how. Go to create your own slide show and give your candidacy a boost.

My first reaction when I initially saw this in August was...
Except I Wasn't Wearing Garfield Boxers

Why? Because ISS is not following my motto! Here is what Animoto is extremely good at: Creating slideshows. That's it. But there's a reason why I don't go into interviews with a slideshow presentation. Because no potential employer wants to see that. 

How do I know? 
                             I don't. 
                                          I'm just guessing.

But if I was an administrator that needed to do a hunk-of-hirin', I would assume that anyone, no matter how excellent or how poor of a teacher they really are, could throw together a bunch of photos with smiling and studious children.  It tells you absolutely nothing.
For This Photo, I Googled "Children Studying" 

But ISS seems to have fallen into that infamous trap of using a web 2.0 tool just because it exists, regardless of the intended purpose. To support that groundless accusation, I present the subject line of an email they sent me a few days ago:

ISS launches new members' portal featuring cutting-edge technology!

One of the cutting-edge technologies is Animoto, of course (Even though Animoto is a relatively old web 2.0 technology, created around 2006 or 2007, I believe). 

As a counter to this push, I tried last night to make a reasonable counter argument to ISS filling up 70% of my dashboard with an Animoto plug. I decided it would be best if I used Animoto to make my counter-argument. But because I wasn't strictly using Animoto for it's intended purpose, the results are mixed:

The inconvenient truth is that I've might have made this too late. As hip as ISS wants to appear to be, it's Dashboard is ugly and static. In fact it's so static that there doesn't seem to be a way to go back and change any aspect of my profile. Everything I entered (or didn't enter) in August seems to be permanent. So now that I have jumped on the Animoto bandwagon with my own Animoto video that points out why ISS should not be promoting Animoto, there doesn't seem to be a way to update my profile with the new video.
So in a way they're not doing exactly what I'm asking them not to do.

*Update: Did I call ISS clunky and static? What a strange, baseless accusation! And on a totally unrelated note, here is my email correspondance with them while trying to figure out how to update my profile.

  • Editing My Profile

    by Ryan
    Sent:  4:36 AM
    Hi, My name is Ryan and my ID is *******. I would like to make changes on my profile but I can't find where to do that. Please help. Thank you.
  • RE: Editing My Profile

    by Tajuan
    Sent:  12:31 PM
    Dear Mr. Malone, Greetings from ISS. Since your file was already approved you are unable to edit it yourself. If you want to make a change you must let us know exactly what you want changed and we will be happy to assist you. Kind Regards, Tajuan

    So because my profile has been approved, I've been locked out of it. Apparently I might make a change that ISS does not approve of on my profile? I'm not sure if I"m following the only possible logic I can come up with to rationalize this. 

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