Posts tagged Here’s

Here’s What Teens Think It Takes To Work In Tech

It’s easy to get swept up in the media myths of the technology world. The good news is that a new generation readying themselves for careers in tech are looking past the stereotypes and embracing opportunity.

On Friday, LinkedIn hosted an event as part of its LinkedIn For Good initiative, in which it encouraged 2,500 employees around the world to spend the day giving back to their community.

As part of that “InDay” event, the company hosted 100 teenagers from the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula at its Mountain View, Calif. headquarters to talk about career opportunities, create a LinkedIn profile, and learn about the skills needed to achieve their dream jobs.

Breaking Down Media Myths About Silicon Valley

The event looked nothing like the Hollywood versions of the tech world we see in movies like The Internship and HBO’s Silicon Valley. While those shows satirize what it takes to make it in tech, they also risk celebrating and elevating the screen-friendly “brogrammer” cultural myth of hard-partying code jocks. While brogrammers are easier to find on TV than on the actual streets of San Francisco, the brogrammer stereotype has life because Silicon Valley does have a real problem attracting a diverse workforce.

Statistics recently released by major tech companies show that there are real numbers behind the stereotypes: The tech workforce is disproportionally Caucasian and male. (LinkedIn was one of the companies to share its numbers.)

Against this backdrop, it’s easy to understand why some get dispirited. But organizations and companies are working to change the culture of technology and nurture diverse voices, and women are fighting to change the culture of tech from within. And the teens we talked to weren’t paying much attention to Hollywood’s version of what a programmer looks like.

Teens In Tech

In a crowded room on the company’s leafy campus, LinkedIn employees and students from the Boys and Girls Club exchanged wisdom. Students discovered what it means to network, while employees reminisced about their own high-school days, and the angst and frustration of figuring out a career path.

Salvador Rodriguez, human resources intern at LinkedIn, and past Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula student, interviews LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, and Boys and Girls Club executive director Peter Fortenbaugh.

After hearing from LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner and Peter Fortenbaugh, executive director of the Peninsula Boys and Girls Club, LinkedIn employees teamed up with students in one-on-one sessions to help build their online resumes, and, hopefully, put them en route to their future careers.

I shadowed three students who have dreams of working in tech to find out what drives them, and whether or not the culture of the tech community, often portrayed as toxic or excluding, now deters them from pursuing their future dreams.

All three were steadfast in their desire to become the next generation of builders. They weren’t worried about culture fit. They were more worried about mastering math.

“There’s no way [gender inequality] will be balanced by the time I’m coding.” 

Dana Levinthal, 14, snacked on Lay’s potato chips and sipped on a raw-sugar Coca-Cola as she talked to me about wanting to become a programmer at Facebook or Google. What about a startup, I asked.

“There’s always a chance they could go under,” she replied. “I want something more secure.”

The sage teen from Redwood City doesn’t have any coding experience yet, though she’s heard of languages like Java and C++. But she thinks her experience in “modding” Minecraft, a popular game, has already taught her one of the most important skills about being a programmer: patience.

She does understand it takes more than creativity, patience and boundless energy to become a programmer; Dana wants to go to MIT, and is aiming to finish calculus by her senior year.

As a high-school freshman, she’s familiar with the imbalance of women in tech, but that only fuels her desire to be among the next generation of Googlers.

“I’m aware that only ten percent of women hold IT jobs,” she said. “There’s no way it will be balanced by the time I’m coding, in 10 to 15 years.”

Dana Levinthal volunteered to take photos for the Boys and Girls Club during the event. 

For some, the gender gap can be discouraging, especially since just 18 percent of computer science graduates in the U.S. are female, and reports of harassment and discrimination have cast shadows on the tech community. To Dana though, this imbalance presents an opportunity.

“Because women are a minority in that field, I’m more likely to get a scholarship and get hired,” she said.

“Don’t gain the world, and lose your soul.”

Diquan Richard was all smiles at inDay.

Diquan Richard’s idols are Steve Jobs and Bob Marley—two very different innovators whose passion and breakthroughs in creative and technical fields inspire him to pursue his career goal of becoming a Pixar animator. He’s been involved with the Boys and Girls Club for 14 years, and is a native of East Palo Alto.

He discovered his dream of working at Pixar in 7th grade, and he’s been perfecting his talent for drawing and storytelling while overcoming personal hardships ever since.

“Technology has given me comfort,” Diquan said. “It’s allowed me to connect with people during the most challenging times.”

Like most teenagers, 18-year-old Diquan uses applications like Snapchat and Instagram to connect with friends. On his Lenovo computer, he uses more sophisticated technology to build creatures with Photoshop, Flash and Maya, the animation software. Those will prove crucial to his burgeoning career.

LinkedIn employees used Diquan’s profile as an example of how students can connect with mentors and alumni. 

Diquan is a student at Cañada College, a two-year institution in Redwood City, Calif., where he’s taking general-education courses before applying to a university for a digital arts and animation degree.

“My biggest challenge in school is math,” he said. “It’s something I’m going to have to work with everyday—using geometry and algebra. Making sure everything cooperates.”

At the InDay event, LinkedIn employees helped Diquan take the first step to achieving his career. In a demonstration, two of them used Diquan’s profile as an example of how to connect with college alumni and ask for advice from people whose careers they admire. They discovered a Cañada College graduate who worked at Pixar, and the team offered to facilitate an introduction.

Diquan could not stop smiling.

Though technology will become an invaluable resource for him in the future, Diquan noted that it’s not all perfect. Some apps, he said, are a huge waste of time.

“Bob Marley once said, ‘Don’t gain the world, and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver and gold,’” he told me.

“One stereotype I know about tech, is that they think guys are better.”

Anna Gomez at LinkedIn’s InDay event.

“I was kind of a weird child,” Anna Gomez, 14, said, as I sat down to ask her about her career plans. “One time I had cardboard boxes, and I would pretend they were metal and make a robot.”

“That’s not weird,” I told her. “That’s awesome.”

Anna wants to be a computer engineer and eventually a video game designer. Her favorite video game is Assassin’s Creed, which she plays regularly on her PlayStation 3.

She’s trying to learn coding, but she’s conflicted. Her high school offers computer engineering, but she also wants to take cooking as an elective. Anna hadn’t heard of organizations like Girls Who Code.

“Most of my friends are girls, and they don’t really play video games,” she said, and looked down at her hands. “Most of my guy friends play video games, though.”

Through the Boys and Girls Club, Anna has visited numerous tech companies, including Google, Intel, Facebook and LinkedIn. She says the experience has only encouraged her pursuit of working in technology, though she thinks it is very hard to get a job in tech.

Anna was also taking photos around the LinkedIn campus. 

The biggest skill she thinks engineers need is, like the other students, math. Anna said math classes are going to be hard for her, but, with her brother as an influence, she’s going to learn coding, and eventually take computer science in college.

Like Dana, she’s not deterred by inequality or lack of women in engineering fields.

“One stereotype I know about tech, is that they think guys are better,” she said. “But I don’t think that’s true.”

A Promising Future

After setting up personal LinkedIn accounts and taking a handful of profile pictures, both silly and serious, the students made their way back to the crowded room, which was getting warmer by the minute.

A group of observers and participants trailed behind, as the girls took extra time photographing the LinkedIn campus with cameras provided by the Boys and Girls Club. They wanted to document everything.

By the afternoon’s end, Dana, Diquan, and Anna, along with many other club members, had their own LinkedIn profiles, which would help them discover career opportunities and connect with people just like them, in jobs they want to explore.

Back in the room, the students and mentors were asked to take a picture—and the smiling teens looked back at the camera promisingly.

The next generation of coders and makers don’t see the same frustration their counterparts working in tech right now face on a regular basis. Instead, they have hope that—although their path may not be perfect or easy—a passion for technology and education will get them started.

And once they’re inside those campuses they’ve visited as students, they’ll have the power to take on those challenges—and, eventually, change those stereotypes. 

At the end of the day, students and mentors posed for a photo.

Photos by Selena Larson for ReadWrite

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Negative SEO Does Exist and Here’s the Proof – Huffington Post UK
Negative SEO Does Exist and Here's the Proof
Huffington Post UK
One of the most asked questions from clients over the last few months has been "Do you think we have been hit by negative SEO?" Our standard response has always been "No" as to date we have not seen a clear example of negative SEO hitting any our …
Op-Ed: Finding your way through SEO in
My First Month At QueryClick & The Value Of Creating Quality ContentQueryClick
Why CMOs should be looking out for Google penaltiesEconsultancy (blog)

all 4 news articles »

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Jonathan Guy :Negative SEO Does Exist and Here’s the Proof – Huffington Post UK

Jonathan Guy :Negative SEO Does Exist and Here's the Proof
Huffington Post UK
One of the most asked questions from clients over the last few months has been "Do you think we have been hit by negative SEO?" Our standard response has always been "No" as to date we have not seen a clear example of negative SEO hitting any our …
My First Month At QueryClick & The Value Of Creating Quality ContentQueryClick

all 2 news articles »

View full post on SEO – Google News

WordPress 4.0 Beta Is Now Available: Here’s What’s New by @mattsouthern

WordPress recently announced that the first beta version of WordPress 4.0 is now available. WordPress prefaces its announcement with a word of caution that the software is still in development, and it’s not recommended that you run it on a production site. Instead, consider setting up a test site to familiarize yourself with the new features, as the full version of WordPress 4.0 is due out next month. But before the new version comes out, WordPress says they need the help of users to test the new features they’ve been working on. Here’s What’s New In WordPress 4.0 Beta Preview […]

The post WordPress 4.0 Beta Is Now Available: Here’s What’s New by @mattsouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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SEO Should Not Be Held To An ROI Target — Here’s Why – Search Engine Land

Search Engine Land
SEO Should Not Be Held To An ROI Target — Here's Why
Search Engine Land
SEO is a layer of checks and balances that exists within the mechanics of all online communication to help your brand's message reach as far as it possibly can. Through ongoing maintenance, SEO can help ensure that the value of your website is properly …
What is off-page SEO and how can you use it?Econsultancy (blog)
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SEO Should Not Be Held To An ROI Target — Here’s Why

Anyone who invests dollars into a marketing channel is expecting to see a return on investment (ROI) from that marketing channel. Those who invest in SEO are probably expecting the same. But I challenge this thought and dare to say SEO should not be required to meet an ROI target. Why, you ask?…

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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Want To Speak @ SMX East? Here’s How

The agenda is live, and we’re now accepting submissions to speak at Search Marketing Expo – SMX East 2014, Oct. 30 – Sept. 1, at the Javitz Convention Center in New York City. To increase the odds of being selected, be sure to read the agenda. Understand what the sessions are about. Ensure…

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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Want To Speak At SMX Milan? Here’s How

The agenda is live and we’ve opened up our “speaking pitch” form for SMX Milan, November 13-14, 2014 at the Meliá Milano Hotel. View the agenda here: SMX Milan 2014 Agenda And the speaking pitch instructions and form here: SMX Milan 2014 Agenda Speaking Pitch Form The speaking…

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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WTF: Here’s Why I Couldn’t Post My Lesbian In-Joke On Instagram

[Update: We've corrected this story following its initial publication and updated it throughout to reflect information Instagram provided us on Saturday morning. The company says that while it does filter comments for certain banned terms, "lez" is not one of them. Instead, Instagram says its logs show that Hatmaker (inadvertently) @-mentioned herself in the comment, a practice that it blocks on certain accounts to prevent "follow spam." —ReadWrite senior editor David Hamilton]

Friday morning, like every other morning, I opened Instagram as soon as I woke up. I was met with a notification from my sort-of-ex-girlfriend (it’s complicated). She’d tagged me on a post by New York fashion line Public School to say that a decidedly tomboyish outfit they’d posted would look good on me (it would).

Since I already own a very similar knit blazer, don’t know how to dress myself, and liked the look, I replied “lez do this.” Apparently that’s where it all went wrong.

I was instantly met with a pop-up warning I’d never seen in all my days on Instagram, still my Favorite App Ever.

Confused, I hit ignore. A few tries later, my comment went through and I was left wondering what else triggers this “comment blocked” pop-up in the name of “protecting their community.”

Here are all the reasons—with no more information than that my “content and actions” were deemed worthy of restriction—why I found the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app’s blocking of my incredibly innocent @reply unsettling (albeit hilarious):

  1. I’ve been an active Instagram user for years and have never run into this message before.
  2. The comment was a reply from a queer woman (me) to another queer woman.
  3. Have you seen some of the shit on Instagram?
  4. The Instagram post was promoting a pop-up shop at J. Crew, a company helmed by the iconic lesbian (and not-lesbian) style icon Jenna Lyons, who is in a relationship with a woman. Irony!

Our team tried to provoke the pop-up censorship warning again with a long series of profanity, gay-ish synonyms and references to the female anatomy, with no luck.

Sure Instagram, next time I’ll hit “tell you” and not “ignore”—but putting the burden on me to explain why my language was acceptable feels pretty absurd, you being under the wing of the biggest social network ever created and all.

After I asked for comment, Instagram told me that it does ban some words, but “lez” is not one of them. 

Instead, its logs show I mentioned my own account, @tayhatmaker, the first time I tried to post my reply. On larger accounts, those with tens of thousands of followers, Instagram doesn’t allow “self-mentions,” which are often attempts by users to beg popular users to follow them. I don’t recall doing that, but logs are logs, and it explains why I was able to post my comment on subsequent attempts, and why my colleagues were able to post similar comments in their tests.

I’m relieved to learn that Instagram wasn’t censoring me, but I wish its alert had made it clearer what was going on—for example, by explaining that it was not in fact the content of my comment that triggered the block, but instead my inadvertent self-mention.

Why Social Censorship Matters To The LGBTQ Community

Here’s some context on why I found Instagram’s pop-up message so alarming, not realizing there was an innocent explanation for it.

In Internet gay lady subculture (and likely tongue-in-cheek queer culture at large), it’s not uncommon to substitute the word “lez” for “let’s” whenever possible—it’s funnier, shorter and gayer, so why not? Approximately zero humans I know actually identify as a “lez” or any similarly silly-sounding variation thereof, but it’s a teensy sliver of the intra-community lexicon. (Facebook, to its credit, offers 56 gender options on its social network.)

Like much language exchanged between marginalized folks, using the word “lez”—just like choosing to identify as “queer”—is a powerful act, reappropriating terms that many of us encountered as weaponized slurs and hatespeech in the past. That’s the gist of why we need to be alert to incidents like this—and make sure there’s not censorship at play.

Right now, social apps like Instagram (Tumblr also springs to mind) are teeming with diverse subcommunities—and that’s unprecedented. Today, anyone can track a resonant identity-based hashtag and discover a thriving current of people like them just beneath the surface.

Growing up gay before the modern social media age, I can’t imagine how much less alone Instagram’s platform of anonymous yet out-in-the-open community would have made me feel—even if it’s mostly selfies. 

A Dangerous Precedent

Whether or not Instagram blocked the word “lez” in this case—again, to be clear, the company says it didn’t—it’s not a stranger to awkward, protecting-us-from-ourselves censorship. The company recently apologized after arbitrarily censoring a fat-positive vlogger’s photo of her body, which—as it turns out—wasn’t pornographic at all.

Random, misguided censorship is nothing new for the word “lesbian” either. When Google introduced Google Instant search results back in 2010, a query of the word “lesbian” turned up literally blank. “Bisexual” got the same treatment, whereas “gay”—a term historically more associated with gay men—was a thriving hub of cultural and political results.

Rather than improve the quality of its results (i.e. weed out the porn that tech giants are so afraid of), Google’s bizarre choice at the time not only hindered its users from finding often much-needed—sometimes literally life or death—queer resources, but also damaged the much-needed traffic of the already (and still) “ghettoized” places providing those resources. Hell, even a Google Instant search of “lesbian books” resulted in a void.

Censoring the often encoded language exchanged within social sub-communities repeats a dangerous precedent—not just for the LGBTQ community, but for other disenfranchised groups: namely people of color, women navigating vicious Web harassment—and yes, even body-positive selfie-takers.

By now, given Facebook’s unparalleled resources—and unimaginably huge sample of social data—I’d bet that Instagram, like Google, can come up with a better approach. 

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Here’s Another Matt Cutts Floating Head Video – WebProNews

Here's Another Matt Cutts Floating Head Video
We'll just keep this one short like the video itself. The most common SEO mistake you can make, according to Matt Cutts, is not having a website. Hopefully you feel you've gotten your money's worth on that one. Once again, Cutts uses the ol' floating

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