by Rachel on August 24, 2011

Last year was my first time at SXSW, when Beckinfield hosted an official SX party. This year I’m hoping to go back — as a speaker at the conference!

A couple months ago, I saw that SXSW Panel Picker was starting. From the Panel Picker website:

SXSW is a community-driven event. So, knowing what kinds of topics you want to hear at the event next March is extremely important to us. Your votes and comments account for about 30% of the decision-making process for any given programming slot.

Basically, anyone can submit an idea for a panel and the community  then helps the SXSW Advisory Board decide what panels they should feature in the upcoming year.

I immediately started brainstorming ideas for panels. My original idea was something based on Does Your Mom Read Your Blog? — a talk about fearlessness in creating content for the web. I wanted to go more into what that all means for getting a job some day. Basically, how I do things like this:

[I’m Lovin’ It]

And, well, all of this:

[Project Food Blog]

and yet still remain gainfully employed!

But the more I worked on it, the more I wanted to have someone up there with me…perhaps someone from HR who can speak to what companies actually think of your social media activities. So I got in touch with one of my good friends from high school to see if she’d be interested in joining my panel. She was, and she brought in one of her friends. After a lot of writing and rewriting right up to the deadline, our proposal was done! Here is an excerpt:

NSFW FTW: Being Authentic and Being Employed

“Every day, we see tweets, blogs, and pics ending careers. I know many people are going to use them as examples of why we must be careful using social media. I’m not worried. When people ask if my boss reads my blog, I just say, ‘I blogged your boss last night.’” (Rachel)

“I’ve managed to meet a girl I dated and get an internship with Gary Vaynerchuk’s Cork’d over Twitter. I analyze every tweet I send to make sure it’s appropriate for my follower base.” (Matt)

“The perfect candidate for the job I’m trying to fill? May tweet not-quite-what-we-want-associated-with-our-brand content. If you blogged your boss last night, I’ll know.” (Morgan)

Morgan Missen (who saw the resumes you sent to Google and Twitter and is now the head of talent at FourSquare ), Rachel Wilkerson (who reaches thousands with her daily blog about the lessons she learned from drinking too much tequila), and Matt Hunter (who transitioned from Merrill Lynch to business school to a startup in a short period of time while maintaining a Twitter account appropriate for his follower base) will explain the how and why of creating an authentic — even controversial — web presence and still being the person top companies want to hire.

You can read more on our SXSW page!

At this point, the Panel Picker is open for voting and will remain so until Sept 2. If you could take a minute or two to give our idea a thumbs up or even add supportive comments, I’d really appreciate it! To vote/comment, you do have to create a login account (username, e-mail address, password) but it’s a pretty simple process.

And if you’ve submitted a panel proposal too, be sure to share the link in the comments so we can all vote for yours too!

Thanks for letting me shamelessly promote myself and for your thumbs up if you do decide to vote! OVER AND OUT!

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 mary (a merry life) August 24, 2011 at 10:54 am

Will do! I won’t be there but I’d love it if your idea made it!


2 Dori August 24, 2011 at 12:55 pm

I LOVE this. I actually took your advice and used my blog and Twitter as part of my resume — even with some posts (ahem, Naked Chef) I might have otherwise been nervous about. And it worked. I got a job because I showed I know how to do social. I am going to vote for you right now — this is fantastic and I am so happy for you!


3 Rachel August 24, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Thank you!! And it makes me so happy that not being safe for work worked out so well for you!!


4 Jordan August 24, 2011 at 8:52 pm

I absolutely love this idea! It’s a panel I would definitely want to go to. I hope it works out!


5 Rachael August 25, 2011 at 12:11 pm

I think this is a panel I need to attend. I’m a little shell shocked after being attacked on my blog by a co-worker about a year ago. Since then I avoided blogging and yet thought my twitter account was safe until just last month that same co-worker (thankfully I quit that job around the same time, for different reasons, but none the less) found my twitter account and selected a few vague but obviously catty tweets she believed to be directed at her (they were, let’s be honest) and texted them to me with the obvious intention of making me feel cornered.

I have that “flight” response when it comes to my online self, when in reality I’d be likely to “fight” however, now that I’m not working for a corporation (a hospital is a money making business after all) I can do as I please, and I’m just looking to find a little bit of myself again and overcome my fear of being castrated for my writing. It’s been a long road to recovery but I’m turning over a new leaf. Hey look at that, I have a new blog already :)


6 Rachael August 25, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Also I’ll be living in Dallas by that time, which means attending SXSW might just be possible :)


7 Christine August 26, 2011 at 4:35 pm

voted for you :)


8 Rachel August 26, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Thank you!!


9 kate August 27, 2011 at 10:35 am

The panel sounds really interesting, a great look at this tricky new world from three complimentary but very different perspectives.


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