Earthlink non-creativity

Earthlink has jumped on the corporate blogging bandwagon with Protection Blog, which posts news and advice related to internet security and privacy aimed at the average end user. They seem to have somewhat missed the point though. While all corporate blogs are advertisements in a way, this one really looks like one. Maybe if they had given the site a logical URL in the earthlink.net domain they wouldn’t feel the need to brand it so heavily to make sure the Earthlink connection comes through.

The oddly-named About This Blog page says “none of the stuff we write has been filtered through our PR guys or approved by a team of lawyers”. Based on my experience there, I don’t buy it. Earthlink’s abuse department is fairly high-profile and during my years there we occasionally got calls from various press organizations who wanted to talk about spam, worms, or whatever the big internet security issue of the week was. We were constantly warned not to talk to the press but to refer all questions to our “Corporate Communications” department, who would invariably write some sanitized, unreadable press release. If anyone could have benefited by reading The Cluetrain Manifesto, it was Earthlink.

None of this is particularly interesting though. The interesting thing is that they’ve posted a job listing for a “Blog Master” to work on the aforementioned site:

What makes a good candidate? Immersion in the web — particularly Blogs — is essential.
  • You’re a self-starting team player full of ideas on how to make EarthLink an ever-more useful resource
  • You are a voracious reader of business newspapers, magazines and internet sites
  • You relish the challenge of writing for the emerging and increasingly important medium of Blogging
  • You’re an unapologetic tech geek who loves showing others the wonders of new software and applications
  • You enjoy writing about technical topics in conversational, plain English
  • You speak in href’s and you’ve got a Blog to prove it
  • You obsessively trawl the web for the latest and greatest releases, tips, tricks and technology news
  • You must have exceptional linguistics insights and love the Oxford English dictionary
  • You have language skills suitable for a professional publishing position, including spelling, grammar, and punctuation, plus proofreading and copy editing capabilities
  • You have advanced knowledge of computers; internet, including web browsing, chat, email, and MS Office
  • You have a thorough understanding of Blog publishing systems (Moveable Type), HTML, RSS, graphics programs and search engine technology
To be considered a candidate for this position, send the following:
  • Examples of Blog writing that demonstrate your writing skills and industry knowledge
  • Dazzle us with links to posts you’re particularly proud of or writing you’ve done anywhere on the web

Once you’ve read over the qualifications, compare it to this listing for a Lifehacker editor that was posted last month:

You’re the ideal candidate for the editorial position here at Lifehacker if:
  • you’re an unapologetic tech geek who loves showing others the wonders of new software and Web 2.0 applications (programmers turned writers or vice versa preferred)
  • you enjoy writing about technical topics in conversational, plain English
  • you speak in href’s and you’ve got a blog to prove it
  • you’re comfortable on a Mac or PC
  • you love putting new software through its paces and reporting back the results
  • you obsessively trawl the web for the latest and greatest releases, tips, tricks and technology news
  • you’re a self-startin’ team player full of ideas on how to make Lifehacker an ever-more useful resource
Interested? Shoot us a plain text email to jobs at lifehacker.com. No resumes or attachments of any kind, please – instead, introduce yourself, tell us why you’re perfect for Lifehacker and include your weblog URL. Dazzle us with links to posts you’re particularly proud of or writing you’ve done anywhere on the web.

Screenshots: Exhibit A, Exhibit B

Creativity is hard.

Comments

avitania says:

ew, that Earthlink blog is so… sterile. Exactly what I’m trying to avoid. It’s impossible for a company as big as Earthlink to not filter out the content of the blog. Or, it may not be filtered per se, but they know exactly what they can and can’t talk about. I’ve been reading the Hughtrain and am interested in how powerful Hugh McLeod at gapingvoid sees blogging. I’m not 100% convinced yet, but I’m interested in putting some of his advice to test.