by: Danah Boyd
In each issue, the Harvard Business Review has a section called "Case Commentary" where they propose a fictional but realistic scenario and invite different prominent folks to respond. I was given the great honor of being invited to respond to a case entitled "We Googled You."
In Diane Coutu's hypothetical scenario, Fred is trying to decide whether or not to hire Mimi after one of Fred's co-workers googles Mimi and finds newspaper clippings about Mimi protesting Chinese policies. [The case study is 2 pages - this is a very brief synopsis.] Given the scenario, we were then asked, "should Fred hire Mimi despite her online history?"
Unfortunately, Harvard Business Review does not make their issues available for free download (although they are available at the library and the case can be purchased for $6) *but* i acquired permission to publish my commentary online for your enjoyment. It's a little odd taken out of context, but i still figured some folks might enjoy my view on this matter, especially given that the press keep asking me about this exact topic. (Update: apparently HBR has the case without responses on their site for the Interactive Case Study.)
Update: Apparently, unbeknownst to me, HBR has decided to make this case study the First Interactive Case Study. While they don't share all of our responses with the public, they invite anyone to respond to the case with their own feelings on the matter. They want people to submit to their site so that they can publish the best-of, but personally, i'd be *stoked* to hear how all readers of this blog would respond to this case study. So, please submit something, but also add your thoughts to the comments or post your response to your blog (and comment the URL) so that we can all read your thoughts. I found this exercise mentally fun and i hope you do too! (tx Andy Blanco)