A Linking Mess: Week of 11/25/13

LinkingMess2I like to sift the good articles from the dross and share the good stuff with friends and coworkers. That’s the purpose of this column, incidentally. I read stuff, find things that are both informative and interesting to working professionals, and offer it for your consumption.

A lot of good work is done by average people – The Economist

Today’s blog features a couple articles about workers and the workplace. Incidentally, has “worker” become a pejorative or politically incorrect term yet? With so many companies referring to their employees as “associates” or “partners” (at Leggett & Platt, we prefer “employee-partner”), “worker” seems harsh somehow, even to an avowed capitalist like me. Anyway, this article describes the criticism leveled at Yahoo recently when it was revealed that they use a “ranking and yanking” policy in assessing employees. The approach, which began in the ‘80s and ‘90s but went out of fashion, is considered by many to be a severe way of ranking employees, with part of the purpose to get rid of the ones at the bottom.

The most information-filled infographic in the history of the world – Social Media Today

You’ll find some advice on promoting your blog in this piece, although I bristled when I saw phrases like “loyal to your brand,” “thought leader in your industry,” and “delivering your brand message.” Yeah, those are real things that are beneficial, but I’m not a fan of jargon. The five steps listed are pretty commonsensical, which might be a relief to someone intimidated by the blogosphere. The writer emphasizes that you understand your goals in writing a blog, you know your audience, and you write for your readers. After the advice section, there’s an infographic that will choke you with information – your finger will cramp due to prolonged scrolling.

Age differences in the workplace – The Economist

Do Generation Y or “millennial” employees (born around 1980 and after) really feel entitled? Are Baby Boomers less savvy with technology but harder workers? Where do Gen Xers (mid-1960s to late-1970s) fit in? But more importantly, do they work well together? This article explores the differences in work ethic, attitude, and opinions of each other. Maybe the differences aren’t as great as they might seem.


About Paul M. Johnson

Senior Copywriter Paul M. Johnson

I’m Senior Copywriter at Leggett & Platt, so I write a bunch of B2B copy, mainly about wire and wire-related products. Pretty sexy, I agree. A long time ago, I wrote magazine articles about pro athletes such as Derek Jeter and Allen Iverson, and surprisingly that’s more interesting to most people. What are my credentials for writing this blog? Eh, I like reading. And learning stuff. To fill in some details you’re not asking for, as an older person I prefer reading “offline” – as in, actual hard-copy newspapers and magazines. I read at the gym in between weightlifting sets. I read on the treadmill. I read while I’m waiting in line. I “read” audio versions of articles while I drive, but before I was able to do that, I used to read while I drove, but usually only on traffic-free, curve-less interstate highways. That was ill-advised, so I don’t do it anymore. My two main sources are The Economist and The Wall Street Journal, and if I can predict a criticism of this blog, it’ll be that I rely on those two too much. I plead guilty.