Microsoft wants to know who you are (i.e., wants you to do silly things and then post a video of them on its "Who Are You?" Web site—www.wewanttoknow.net). Karen Forster explains the company's campaign in her December 2007 article "Microsoft Asks: Who Are You?" (InstantDoc ID 97478). She refers to a flyer that explains the program as a place "where IT Professionals can showcase their multidimensional, creative personalities as people instead of simply professionals." I understand the importance of showing people as more than just their job titles, but this attempt misses the mark.
Pardon me for calling 'em like I see 'em, but other than the guy with the super-smart kid and the montage of people being knocked in the nether regions, the Who Are You? videos I've watched show only one dimension: karaoke. I love off-key renditions of Neil Diamond tunes just as much as the next guy, but I just don't see how they're useful for your career.
Reader Curt Hayes seems to agree with me. In a February 2008 letter to the editor (InstantDoc ID 97859), Curt writes, "Maybe I'm just old and grouchy, but I don't see how celebrating my ability to play the kazoo translates into helping me do my job." Although I would love to hear Curt's kazoo talents, I'd rather help him get through his workday more efficiently so that he could spend more time doing what he enjoys. And so should Microsoft.
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