CLOSE

5 People Who Exploited the Web to Get Hired

My friend and co-blogger here on the _floss, Rob Lammle, had an awesome post a few weeks back: How to Tweet Your Way Out of a Job. While I wasn't able to find quite as many people who tweeted their way INTO a job, there's at least one in the list below, and a bunch of other cool people who used the Web to their advantage in unusual ways. By all means, if you have a similar story, something personal, share it with us in the comments below.

1. Eugene Hsu

In a world where drab, formulaic, cookie-cutter resumes are de rigueur, Eugene Hsu wanted to stand out in a big way. So the MIT Ph.D candidate put his drawing and coding skills to use creating an online resume using mainly Microsoft Paint. The result? A fun, whimsical, almost silly version of a traditional CV. Hsu worked in animation research and used his technological and artistic skills to basically lobby the future for a job. Despite some critics who felt it was absurd and inappropriate, it worked for Hsu and he's now gainfully employed. The online comic-CV also impressed me, and I approached Eugene to see if he'd be interested in contributing to my own little online venture, Twaggies.com, which he was happy to do. Check out examples of his work on the site here and here.

2. Jon Barker

Jon Barker loved Gmail but was frustrated he could only view his mail online. So, he wrote a little program called Pop goes the Gmail that enabled him to download his email to his desktop. It worked really well and fit Jon's needs perfectly. There was only one problem—Barker had hacked into the then-new Gmail, a highly guarded pet-project that Google had opened to only a select few users, and had gone against Gmail's terms of service. When the first email arrived from Google Vice-President, Barker expected to be slapped with a lawsuit. Instead, it was Google offering him a job.

3. Alec Brownstein

Alec Brownstein had a humdrum job as an average copywriter at a large international average agency—a cog in the giant wheel who dreamed of working at a more creative agency where he could make a real impact. While Googling some of his favorite creative directors, he came up with a brilliant, self-marketing campaign. After noticing there were no sponsored links attached to their names, he purchased ads from Google AdWords. Then he designed a personalized ad for each executive with a link back to Brownstein's own site. Whenever anyone Googled one of the five names, his ad would pop up as the top result. He was counting on them doing what we all do from time to time: Googling ourselves. And guess what? That's exactly what happened. Within a couple of months, Brownstein was interviewed by all but one. Two of the four offered him a job. The total cost of the entire campaign at 15 cents a clink—a mere $6 to make a dream come true. Check out the video he made about it below:

4. Simone Brunozzi

Disenchanted with his position as a system administrator for the University for Foreigners in Perugia, Italy, Simone Brunozzi looked for an escape in the virtual world of Second Life. He had planned to visit the virtual job fair in Luxembourg in order to write a post for his Second Life blog. As good fortuna would have it, Amazon.com was one of the prospective employers. Bruzonni had dreamed of working for a company like Amazon since he had studied abroad in California. Through his avatar, he visited the Amazon representative. An unassuming visit to a virtual world landed him a dream job as a Web Services Evangelist. Bruzonni credits his computer expertise and professional avatar with sealing the deal.

5. Renee Libby

Like many others, Renee Libby found herself without a job when the economy tanked. Her first line of defense? She jumped on her computer and began tweeting. Using Twitter, she began to follow other PR executives in the Baltimore area where she lived. She also committed herself to tweeting every hour or so about news specific to the PR industry in Baltimore. The more execs she followed, the more she was followed back. It wasn't long before the director of public relations for Baltimore-based SPIN contacted Libby and suggested she start freelancing for the company, which not only soon turned into a full-time position, but one that paid even more than the job she lost before she got on Twitter! You can follow Renee on Twitter here.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Big Questions
Why Are the Keys On a QWERTY Keyboard Laid Out As They Are?
iStock
iStock

Why are the keys on a QWERTY keyboard laid out as they are?

C Stuart Hardwick:

What is commonly called QWERTY (more properly, the Sholes layout) was designed by Christopher Lathan Sholes, then modified through a series of business relationships. Sholes's original keyboard was alphabetical and modeled after a printing telegraph machine. The alphabetical layout was easy to learn, but not easy to type on.

For one thing, all practical typing machines of the day relied on mechanical levers, and adjacent letters could jam if struck with rapidity. There has long been a myth that Sholes designed the QWERTY layout to slow typists down in order to prevent this. Nothing could be further from the truth, but Sholes’s first customers were telegraphers. Over several years, he adapted the piano-like alphabetical keyboard into
a four-row keyboard designed to aid telegraphers in their transcription duties.

This new layout mostly spread out commonly struck keys, but also placed easily confused telegraph semaphores together. This layout was sufficient to permit telegraph transcription to keep up with transmissions and created a growing market.

During this time, Sholes teamed up with several other inventors to form a typewriter company with assignment of all related patents. An association with Remington led to increased sales, at which time another company acquired the shift platen patent that permits a typewriter to type in mixed case, and they seem to have made a few essentially random changes in order to avoid the original typewriter company patents.

So that’s it then, right? QWERTY is crap?

Well, no. QWERTY was based mostly on the needs of telegraphers in transcribing Morse code, and Morse had been scientifically designed to make transmission of English language messages as efficient as possible. The result is that the QWERTY arrangement is pretty good—efficiency-wise.

In the 1930s, John Dvorak used modern time-motion study techniques to design his own keyboard, and around it had grown up a whole cult following and mythology. But the fact is, it’s much ado about nothing. Careful scientific studies in the 1950s, '70s, and '80s have shown that choice between the Sholes and Dvorak layout makes no material difference in typing speed. Practice and effort are what yields rapid typing, and studies of professional typists have shown that however well we may perform on timed trials, few typists ever exceed 35 words per minute in their daily work.

So relax. Take an online typing course, practice a little, and relax.

This post originally appeared on Quora. Click here to view.

arrow
Afternoon Map
Monthly Internet Costs in Every Country

Thanks to the internet, people around the world can conduct global research, trade tips, and find faraway friends without ever leaving their couch. Not everyone pays the same price for these digital privileges, though, according to new data visualizations spotted by Thrillist.

To compare internet user prices in each country, cost information site HowMuch.net created a series of maps. The data comes courtesy of English market research consultancy BDRC and Cable.co.uk, which teamed up to analyze 3351 broadband packages in 196 nations between August 18, 2017 and October 12, 2017.

In the U.S., for example, the average cost for internet service is $66 per month. That’s substantially more than what browsers pay in neighboring Mexico ($27) and Canada ($55). Still, we don’t have it bad compared to either Namibia or Burkina Faso, where users shell out a staggering $464 and $924, respectively, for monthly broadband access. In fact, internet in the U.S. is far cheaper than what residents in 113 countries pay, including those in Saudi Arabia ($84), Indonesia ($72), and Greenland ($84).

On average, internet costs in Asia and Russia tend to be among the lowest, while access is prohibitively expensive in sub-Saharan Africa and in certain parts of Oceania. As for the world’s cheapest internet, you’ll find it in Ukraine and Iran.

Check out the maps below for more broadband insights, or view HowMuch.net’s full findings here.

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

[h/t Thrillist]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios