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LinkedIn

LinkedIn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A look into how LinkedIn works

Image representing LinkedIn as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

By Alex Baer

LinkedIn recently celebrated its 10th birthday last Sunday. LinkedIn, sometimes referred to as “the Facebook of networking,” allows people to network with those they have worked with before, or those they would like to work with in the future.

It also allows users to build an online resume, easily accessible to potential recruiters. There is also a premium account offered. Users can pay for a different facet of LinkedIn: Business, for business professionals, Talent for recruiters, JobSeeker for the unemployed (or the curious employed), andSales for sales professionals. There are over 200 million LinkedIn users worldwide.

In July 2011, LinkedIn launched a new feature to the website: posting job openings directly on their website, and allowing users to apply from LinkedIn, linking their LinkedIn resume to their application.

Forbes once called it  “far and away, the most advantageous social networking tool available to job seekers and business professionals today.”

But enough with all the glitz and glamour. What does the data say? Perfect data is a little hard to find, as LinkedIn hasn’t traditionally published much about hiring statistics. Let’s parse through what we can:

-Back in 2010, a report was released that found that 50% of Fortune 500 Companies use LinkedIn.

-LinkedIn gets almost six times the number of job views than Twitter, and almost 12 times that of Facebook. LinkedIn also gets more than 8 times the job applications than Facebook, and 3 times more than Twitter.

Roughly half of LinkedIn users have anywhere from 0 to 500 1st degree connections, but the average LinkedIn recruiter has around 616, and 28% of LinkedIn recruiters have over a thousand connections!

-Of recruiters who use social networks to find potential employees, 48% use only LinkedIn, but only 1% solely use Facebook or Twitter.

-Potential growth is also a factor in networking. To double one’s network on Twitter, it takes only 2.7 months, or roughly 81 days.For LinkedIn, 7.6 months. For Facebook, a whopping 33.9 months (or just under three years).

– Traditionally, the most successful job postings and hirings seem to be sales. As of August 2011, there were about 6.1 million active members on LinkedIn who identified as working in sales. Academics, administrators, engineers, and IT specialists trail in the 4 to 5 million range.

-LinkedIn does have a number of immediately obvious advantages over Facebook and Twitter; namely, no teenage-angst, there’s little spam (as users are trying to create a likable persona), no vague relationship statuses, no birthdays to remember, changes to the user interface are fluid and appealing, but, most importantly, no Pokes.

-It also would appear to lend itself very well to the newest generation of job hunters: us. Having grown up with social networking as much a part of our lives as the duck and cover method was to the Baby Boomers. Sure, for every suave, future New Yorker columnist, there are half a dozen duck-facers, but growing up with “the game” from AOL Instant Messenger to Google Plus, but we seem to have a distinct advantage over the previous generation. As we mature, we learn how to conduct ourselves in the “real world,” but we also draw upon what we have learned.

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[ɪntəˈnæʃənəɫ] : "International" in ...

[ɪntəˈnæʃənəɫ] : “International” in Received Pronunciation [ɪɾ̃ɚˈnæʃɨnəɫ] : “International” in General American Vector  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A look into accents in media and their role in“neutralizing” speech.

By Lory Martinez

Have you listened to the radio lately?Well, if you have, you may have noticed that hosts all speak a certain way on air.

Listeners hear what is called, “the news accent.” See, journalists the world over are trained in this accent before broadcasting. After years of listening to radio broadcasts and noticing it,I decided to take a look at this universal “news accent.” and its origin.

In my search for an explanation on the beginnings of news accents, I found little research explaining the effects of the particular intonation journalists use on their words. I did, however, find an overwhelmingly large amount of “accent-eliminating” programs.

People seem to want to lose their original accents all together. In the UK, citizens who aren’t even employed by the British Broadcasting Corporation, download and learn BBC English accents “Received Pronunciation,” courses.

In the states, journalists like Linda Ellerbee had to work hard to eliminate their accents. She completely lost her Texan accent when she began her broadcast career. In a special on Midwestern accents, she said, “In television you’re not supposed to sound like you’re from anywhere.” Most American newscasters speak in what is known as “General American,” or “Standard American English.” ESL kids all over the world are taught this version of English because it is the clearest and easiest to understand.

According to the dialectblog.com:

Some features include

“The short-a (as in cat) is raised and diphthongized before nasal consonants. Hence man and can’t are pronounced something like IPA meən and keənt (“meh-uhn” and “keh-uhnt.”)

Rhotic, meaning the r is pronounced at the end of words like car and mother.

Words like lot and rod are pronounced with an unrounded vowel, as lɑt and ɹɑd (“laht” and “rahd”).

The diphthong in words like boat and rode is pronounced relatively back: i.e. IPA boʊt and roʊd”

Not surprisingly, the only studies that have been done on the psychological effect of accents have been on foreign accents and speaker credibility.

This, is in part because of the way the media has portrayed certain accents:

Southerners don’t want their accents to portray them as stupid because pop culture has parodied that accent to a point that people are ashamed of it.

Immigrants have been mocked for their accents for decades in every context.

New ‘yawkers’ and Californians…need I say more?

As “media people,” why do we feel this need to change our speech patterns toward “neutral?” Even, as Ms. Ellerbee seemed to allude, to sound like we aren’t from anywhere? Is it more professional? Or is it a psychologically affecting tone?

What do you guys think?

http://www.thenewsburner.com/2011/10/20/you-know-what-the-midwest-is/

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AmericanAccents

http://dialectblog.com/2011/08/01/general-american-english/

Areas of the U.S. where "dew" and &q...

Areas of the U.S. where “dew” and “do” are pronounced differently. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A look into the Accents of the Southern Tier

by Alex Baer

Fourth of July, 1960. Columnist Norma Gauhn has dire words for Americans in the “jet age”: dialects are disappearing. So-called “speech experts” predict that “mass communications, compulsory education,” and the emergence of driver culture would soon homogenize American accents.

On the surface, it makes a good bit of sense; with distance made inconsequential, people aren’t as separated- one of the key factors that leads to the emergence of different dialects. Dialects, in layman’s terms, are variations of a language, different in their vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. For most American English dialects, the differences lie in their pronunciation.

While some accents do seem to be receding (how many New Englanders still sound like JFK?), what is becoming more and more apparent is that despite Skype, free long distance, and YouTube, dialects in the United States are changing more than ever.

As some of our listeners in the Southern Tier may know, one of these newfound dialects is in our own backyard. Coined in 1972 by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, the Northern Cities Vowel Shift refers to an emergent accent relatively new to linguistics; spoken by over 30 million people from Milwaukee to Syracuse, it has scientists scratching their heads.

The accent has some key features that distinguish it from other American dialects: the backing of ʌ, the short u sound (as in uh), the fronting of aw, and the diphthongization of ae. What the heck is a diphthong, you say? It’s two adjacent vowels that lie within the same syllable. I just used one; the ie in lie is a diphthong.

For example: whereas someone would say “my mom got a cat,” someone from Rochester might say “my mahm gawt a kee-at.”

Any avid YouTubers out there might be familiar with Jenna Marbles, a Rochester native.Fans of classic Saturday Night Live also might remember Bill Swerski’s Superfans, a famous and early example of the accent.

Vowels are the key to understanding this linguistic change. There are short vowels (like in bat, or bot), and long vowels (like in boat, or beet). Long vowels have stayed the same since around the 1400s, but short vowels haven’t changed since the time of Charlemagne… until now.

William Labov, who identified the accent with the help of fellow linguists, is one of the leading experts on the dialect. Labov has likened this shift to “something like a game of musical chairs.” With each vowel sound fighting for their own phonological turf, a chain shift has occurred.

Together with Sharon Ash, Charles Boberg, published The Atlas of North American English back in 2005. Over 750 subjects were interviewed, from almost 300 communities, over 11 years. Called a “snapshot of our rapidly changing language,” it documents everything from the modern Bawston accent to the North Country (or Inland North) accent, and many more.

At any rate, it does seem that fears that mass communication is pushing us into a single accent are quite unfounded. We learn language from personal interactions, talking face-to-face with our friends and family. Even as cables and fibers turn us into a globally interconnected culture, we still retain our almost tribal identity of the people we interact with on a regional level.

So the next time you find yourself at a Syracuse game, or talking to a hometown Brewers fan, really listen. You just might learn something!

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by Lory Martinez

a SPECIAL edition of The Media Review in which I interviewed two Tumblr poets to get an inside look at the online literary world and its growing community. Tune in at 4 to hear it!

Full interviews will be posted later tonight!

Cody Gohl, a senior at Middlebury whose prose essays have been published on Thought Catalog and whose works have been quoted on the #codygohl tag on tumblr and at goodreads.com

Sam Riedel is a WHRW alum who graduated and moved to NYC to making it in the literary world. He freelances and works at a publishing company.  His book “The Shapeshifter” can be found at his tumblr page.You can find him on various sites, but all his stories are on contently.com 

Topics include: The Dead Poet’s Society, feedback, the possible metaphorical life-raft on which the future of poetry lies, Micropoetry, twitter poetry, English majors, future plans and advice for  other aspiring writers…

Special thanks to all those who helped edit these two interviews. Merci bien!