Mar920095:34 pm

There exists such a job as “international blogger”

Via MountainRunner, I came across several open international positions with Orbitus (a company I know nothing about but that looks like a government consulting firm), the most intriguing of which is “International Blogger.”  Responsibilities include:

Engag[ing] global audiences online in discussions pertaining to American culture, society and foreign policy via social networking forums, blogs and chat rooms in an effort to further dialogue and promote common understanding and cultural exchange.

The first qualification is: “Experience with blogging and social networking applications.” This, of course, brings me back to the question debated last week of whether social networking is a skill. While I tended to think that, in relation to the right job and presented in the proper way, experience with social networking could be a marketable skill, I was duly shot down by two commenters who noted that accumulating 1,000 friends on Facebook is not a skill. Which I totally agree with, though my point was that, if you’re going to market social networking as a skill, you’ll need to show that you have far more experience with the tools than the common Facebook user.  Certainly the Orbitus job expects that a qualified applicant can do much more with social networking tools than simply set up a Facebook account and get friends. I’m not entirely sure what that ‘much more’ is, but my point still stands, I think.

Anyway, in addition to International Blogger, Orbitus is also advertising for International Media Analyst, International Producer, and International Speaker. All of these sound intriguing. The first requirement for International Speaker is “charisma.”

Another interesting point that Matt Armstrong at MountainRunner points out: all of these job descriptions (the whole Orbitus site, in fact) are posted as images instead of text. I’ve never seen anyone do this before—Matt points out it’s presumably so Google can’t pick them up. Perhaps Orbitus is a secret government agency? Or maybe they just don’t want tons of crap resumes from any old schmo who thinks he’s good just because he knows how to Facebook. Either way, apply if you’re interested.

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One Response to “There exists such a job as “international blogger””

  1. David Comp says:

    I also read this on MountainRunner this morning and was very interested in what Matt Armstrong had to say. I would argue (in opposition to those who commented on your previous post) that social networking can be a “skill” but it depends on one’s experience and/or knowledge of it. Having 1000+ contacts on Linkedin, knowing how to post on someone’s wall in Facebook or frequently tweeting about the upcoming U2 tour are not the “skills” places like Orbitus or governments are looking for when they want someone with social media or blogging skills. What Orbitus is looking for is someone who understands how “networks” work and how to use the various social media tools available (blogging, Twitter, second life, You Tube and to a certain extent on Facebook) to effectively communicate a specific message.

    In the past four months or so we have seen interesting developments in the use of various social media tools that governments are embracing (as a way to effectively communicate certain messages). In December 2008, then Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy James Glassman highlighted the new social media efforts used by the U.S. Department of State in a talk entitled “Public Diplomacy 2.0” where he highlighted their new website ExchangesConnect, DIPNOTE blog, Facebook page and YouTube channel. In January 2009 the Israeli New York Consulate ( ) held a Twitter press conference at the start of the Israeli-Gaza conflict (I just checked and the Israeli Consulate currently has 5,288 followers on Twitter). See my blog post (which provides links to interesting articles) at Another great example of effectively using various social networking tools to one’s advantage was the Presidential campaign of Barack Obama. He embraced social networks and understood the power these tools had to convey his message to voters. A perfect example was his use of text messaging to announce that Joe Biden would be his running mate. The moment President Obama took office (at 12:00pm and not when he took the Oath of Office) the White House webpage was transformed into a well oiled machine and it, along with the White House blog, have been communicating his message to the U.S. public and the world.

    To be sure, the U.S. Department of State, the Israeli Consulate, the White House and even Orbitus want to have as many friends, followers, subscribers, connections, fans, or visitors as possible to their various social networks so they can reach the greatest audience with their message. However, they all want people working on their various social network projects who have the “skills” necessary to strategize and then implement an effective communication plan/objective.

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