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http://www.recruiterdaily.com.au/nl06_news_selected.php?act=2&nav=1&selkey=40906

23 October 2009 6:42am

In his blog post on 19 October, Greg Savage wrote:

I have been reading quite a bit lately about creating a personal brand online. The subject fascinates me, not least because I see so many people making a total hash of it by the inane things they post on Facebook, Twitter, blog replies, and to a lesser extent, LinkedIn.

But recently I had such a powerful personal example happen to me, that I feel compelled to share it with you. This small Twitter exchange taught me a huge lesson in how quickly “Brand You” can be harmed by inappropriate online behaviour.

You see last week I was shocked to read a Tweet which, frankly, made a very disparaging remark, directed at me!

TweetDeck advised me I had several “mentions” overnight, and I glanced through them, smiling at some banter with followers, until I struck the Tweet that, for reasons still unknown to me, took a personal shot at me, by name. Look, it wasn’t a vicious remark. But it was personal, it was negative, it was totally unprovoked and of course, it was very public.

Now if this has not happened to you, I can confirm it is an unpleasant experience. The comment was untrue, and I hope it is not how anyone views me. So it rankled! I obviously clicked on the perpetrators’ Twitter page and found that I had never even heard of the guy! Never had anything to do with him in the real world or the online world, although I did work out he is a Twitter follower of mine (or was!). Nor was his comment in response to any Tweet of mine. It was not even directed to me, but to a third party, about me.

I searched for his LinkedIn page and found he holds a nothing-job in a widely unrespected company. I was not sure if this made me feel better or worse! I racked my brain as to why this stranger would attack me, publicly. I won’t lie to you. It stung. However after about 10 minutes I started to lose interest and decided not to respond in any public way. I resolved to forget about it.

But that’s when it got really interesting. Over the next few hours my Twitter DM inbox (Direct Message) began to fill up with fellow Tweeters who took great umbrage at the remark this guy had made. I had at least 10 in a single day, and the theme was “who is this guy?” and “Who does he think he is” and more specifically “What a rude jerk”, and interestingly “I will never use him or his company again.”

One follower –who I do not know personally at all, and only vaguely remember as an online friend, had done his research on the “offender” and Direct Messaged me to say that he was amazed this guy was in the advertising industry “because he has no idea of how to manage his personal brand”.

And it was that remark that struck me hard. In a flash, I realised that it was not MY reputation that had suffered as a result of this online rudeness. It was the reputation and brand of the person who made the remark that had taken a huge hit. Just one Tweet and provoked such an active response from my followers, all echoing disapproval. The question is, how many people read that Tweet and thought “idiot”?

And so the lesson was learned. By me, if not by the person who chose to hurl cyber-insults. Online, we are what we write. In real life we can make a risqué joke to close friends because they “know” us and take the joke in context. In real interpersonal situations we can pass the odd sarcastic comment, accompanied by a smile, and the receiver feels no hurt because there is context and history, which makes it ok and appropriate. Dropping in the odd swear word while chatting with like-minded buddies does not raise an eyebrow because it conforms with the group culture.

Online we have no such protection.

All this got me thinking about my own online “brand”. I have 500 plus Twitter followers and get thousands of visitors to my blog each month, but I estimate less than 1% of those people are known to me personally. Yet many of the rest I have what I consider to be a great relationship with. We reply to each other’s Tweets, we DM, we offer advice, and we share good-humoured banter as well as seriously useful data. We pass on knowledge freely, and even do business together.

I thought about how I viewed these people. I have an image of them, they have a “brand” with me based on their tweets, their humour, the quality of their information and their online generosity. And that ‘brand’ or ‘reputation’ is as real as if I had met them. And I will make decisions to trust them and buy their services based on the brand they have built up with me online, over time.

So the lesson is this. Consider “Brand You” before you Tweet how many beers you sank on Saturday night. Consider “Brand You” before you use gratuitous profanities online. Consider “Brand You” before you post that heavily politicised or semi-pornographic video on your blog spot, after months of building up credibility as a professional recruiter.

And of course, consider “Brand You” before you hurl insults at people who might actually have a stronger online brand than your own.

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06 July 2009 8:40am

Employers must train their staff in technology etiquette to reduce the stress from being swamped by overly-complex and emotionally-charged emails, says the University of Queensland’s Rowena Brown.

Brown – a provisional psychologist writing a PhD on emails as a workplace stressor – says that interpreting ambiguous emails can be just as stressful as receiving large volumes of emails.

Poorly crafted or complex emails, she says, can leave recipients feeling overloaded and affect job satisfaction and working relationships. A combination of ambiguous emails and an excessive email load can render workers emotionally exhausted.

Brown’s comments follow her study of more than 200 administrative staff and academics at the University of Queensland.

She says that on one particular (randomly chosen) day, respondents spent about 28 per cent of their work time dealing with emails. They received an average of 35 work-related emails (in addition to 19 spam messages) each, and sent an average of 24. One respondent received 150 work-related emails, and another was sent more than 300 spam or other unsolicited messages.

“Email is not necessarily a bad medium,” Brown says. “But it has its weaknesses.”

Correspondents tend to be over-confident in their ability to convey a particular message and presumptuous about how it will be interpreted, she says.

Emails, she says, can’t convey tone in the way that a phone call or face-to-face meeting can, and rarely adhere to a standard structure – in the way that snail-mail generally does – that people are familiar with.

“Poorly-written emails can create confusion and disagreements over work-related activities and responsibilities,” she says. They can lead to “intragroup conflict” and burnout.

But email, Brown notes, is a “double-edged sword”. Receiving large numbers of emails, she says, can also increase job satisfaction.

“Receiving workplace emails enables users to feel connected and important within their work environment,” she says. “However the impact of a poor quality email, combined with the expectation to respond immediately, can create unnecessary stress.”

Employers must put in place protocols
Brown says her research raises important issues for employers, “who have a responsibility to train their staff in appropriate email etiquette”.

Firstly, she says, employees should be encouraged to avoid using emails, where possible, when it comes to sensitive or pressing issues.

“Don’t be reliant on text,” she says, “when there’s no reason you can’t talk face-to-face.”

There is a chance that the email won’t be immediately tended to, she says, and face-to-face meetings are not only much quicker, but leave far less room for ambiguity.

Brown says that staff should be directed to keep messages professional and concise and to avoid emotive language.

Organisations should establish “email availability times”, or specific checking times, and set a time period within which recipients of messages are expected to respond.

Employees should also be encouraged to regularly filter or file their inbox, she says, and to stipulate the importance of messages they send.

But workers must also set standards for themselves, Brown says. If staff respond to emails at three o’clock in the morning, she says, employers might presume that they’re always accessible.

12 email tips
David Tuffley – a lecturer in information and communication technology at Griffith University – says there are no “official” rules governing electronic communication.

“Though there have been attempts to establish one standard as the default, there is no common agreement,” he says. “So beware people telling you there is one right way.”

However, to increase the chances of a message being read – and creating a favourable impression – composers, he says, should:
summarise accurately the message in the subject line;

include sufficient contextual information, and don’t assume that the reader is familiar with the topic;

keep it concise, and delete irrelevant text when an email has been sent back and forth a number of times;

reply promptly to responses and other emails, avoiding a “log-jam” of unanswered mail;

avoid shouting at or threatening people with capital letters or oversized fonts;

avoid angry outbursts, and only send emails when calm;

use correct spelling, grammar and punctuation, and remember that one exclamation mark is “as effective as five”;

use spaces and breaks so that the email is easier to read;

avoid replying “to all” and unnecessarily cluttering other people’s in-trays;

warn recipients if the email contains material “not suitable for work”;

avoid being over-familiar with recipients, particularly if they’re superiors or strangers; and

remember that emails are not confidential, and can easily end up in an unintended person’s hands.

http://www.hrdaily.com.au/nl06_news_selected.php?act=2&nav=1&selkey=1203

30 June 2009 6:49am

Social networking is an important part of a recruitment strategy but won’t take the place of “old fashioned” personal connections with talent and clients, according to Aquent CEO Greg Savage.

Savage says that when the internet and email first came along, it was widely believed they would “wipe traditional recruiters from the landscape”.

“And none of it came true. None of it,” he says. “The internet and email and job boards didn’t kill off recruiters. New technologies helped them to new heights and new riches.”

While he has embraced social networking, Savage says he does not believe it will inspire a new world of recruiting.

“The truth is that the recruiters who are doing the best now are those who are able to integrate the traditionally required skills with new technologies, and make one plus one equal three.”

Social networking is just a tool
In a recent blog, Savage says social networking is a communications channel recruiters must embrace, but stresses that it’s “not the Holy Grail”.

“It’s just a tool. An enabler, and it needs to be harnessed like all the other mechanisms we use to manage our relationships with clients and candidates,” he says.

He predicts a downturn in the use of social networking sites by recruiters, as the full reality of how hard it is to get a return on investment in that arena becomes clear.

Recruiting by Twitter is not targeted
Savage says that until a more structured and fruitful way to mine networking sites is developed, posting a job vacancy via Twitter is “even less targeted than the least targeted job board”.

“Of course, candidates and even clients, will originate from your social networking site on occasion,” he says.

“But I also pick up candidates and clients from amongst the parents on the sidelines of my son’s rugby matches! No one is really suggesting that as a targeted, sustainable way to re-invent recruiting are they?”

Nothing wrong with being “old-fashioned”
Savage says that just before the recruitment market crashed about 18 months ago, an exiting employee of his company commented, “Aquent is a great place and Greg a good enough guy, just too old-fashioned”.

“The departing employee who made that remark was going to a new staffing world of in-house café lattes, flexible work hours, torn-jeans dress code – and a talent management strategy based entirely on scanning Facebook all day,” he says.

“Sadly that business is gone, along with many of its ilk.”

Savage says it is the “old fashioned” recruiters who actually look to connect, personally, with talent and clients that will survive the current downturn and thrive in the inevitable upswing.

http://www.recruiterdaily.com.au/nl06_news_selected.php?act=2&nav=1&selkey=39889

May 19, 2009

Facebook is blurring the boundaries between work and private life and sometimes the consequences are at the employee’s expense, writes Michelle Wilding.

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Maria’s nightmare began after a long weekend when she logged on to check her emails only to find: “The boss added you as a friend on Facebook” staring at her through her inbox screen.

Above this was a message notification sent via Facebook candidly asking why she denied accepting her boss as a friend. Maria had not even been online for almost 36 hours. Having no choice, she bit the bullet and accepted her boss as a Facebook friend.

Facebook now boasts 108.3 million users, reports Nielsen Online. As the world’s most popular social networking site, it’s not too comforting to know online bullying tactics from your boss are enough to knock down your safeguarded Facebook page that was once locked by private settings.

Unfortunately, former service operator Maria was cornered: she was vulnerable to her “unscrupulous service manager” at one of Australia’s leading supermarket chains. Maria says she was fearful, vexed and defenceless when her boss began using her online information to manipulate her work life.

It started with inappropriate innuendos regarding Facebook photos. More seriously, Maria’s work hours were exploited and she received abusive confrontations and phone calls questioning her availability and every move.

“My boss was a gossiping, domineering, contriving megalomaniac and her behaviour dramatically intensified when she used Facebook to pry,” Maria says.

“I’m a student, so it’s very rare to have a night out. If plans came up, she would purposely make me work. If I needed money, she’d take advantage of that need and cancel my shifts, stripping me of my dignity.

“I don’t know where she got off. She was worse than Stephanie from The Bold And The Beautiful. She played with employee lives like we were her toys. It upset me so much I finally stood up for myself and quit. I feel like I got my freedom back and can breathe again.”

Maria notes one occasion when she RSVPed on Facebook to attend the Future Music Festival with workmates. Unexpectedly she was rostered on the early morning shift the next day, something she believes was calculated.

“As a senior, I was told I wasn’t allowed to work weekends … Then, all of a sudden, the weekend Future is on I was put on first thing the next morning. I found it interesting that my boss could bend the ‘no seniors on weekends’ rule when it suited her,” she says.

The executive director of UNSW’s Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre, David Vaile, says Maria’s case is a useful example of how personal information stored on a Facebook page can be abused, noting the consequences of posting personal information online aren’t necessarily clear because it’s relatively new technology.

“Privacy law has a gaping black hole that does not protect employee privacy and Facebook is outside of that,” Vaile says.

“I think it’s an abuse of the boss’s prerogative to threaten and use their power over their employee’s contract to require access to their Facebook page. On the other hand, there is no idea that Facebook is safe for anyone. Maybe Facebook is required by law to let police have access to a person’s page.”

A range of legal and business reputation risks attached to Facebook concerns Vaile. He says the risks are serious and users should think twice before signing up or sharing private information on Facebook.

“Cyber stalking, harassment, defamation, breach of duty, damage to reputation of workplace: the inherent reliability of that, in the same way that it’s sort of a dangerous and cheap temptation for individuals and also businesses, employers and universities, is a data mine for tragedy,” Vaile says.

Maria’s isn’t the only case of employer Facebook abuse. Former discount retail employee Grace Leasa, 19, was shocked when her then boss made a derogatory remark on her page. After a quarrel with a friend, she updated her Facebook status to: “Grace just can’t do it any more.” To which her boss commented: “You Pussy.”

“I was just surprised because at work he’d act like a friend to the other employees but he’d never been like that with me before,” Leasa says.

“It was sort of degrading because I don’t even talk to this guy.”

Another element through which businesses can intimidate and keep track of their employees is on Facebook groups. Cosmetic retail representative Lucy (not her real name) received two requests to join her work group before she “reluctantly” accepted. The 20-year-old says she was pressured to attend optional work meetings via the group’s listing and experienced online bullying.

“I received updates on meetings and events,” she says.

“I felt the need to put ‘maybe attending’ due to university commitments. If I put ‘not attending’ I would be encouraged by phone to attend. It was pretty much like they were looking into my personal life. But now that I’ve left the group, I feel liberated.

“I also didn’t want to be a part of the group so Facebook users could check up on where I work. That’s another invasion of privacy.”

Not all Facebook employer-employee relationships are troublesome. Doughnut shop worker Kimberley Driver, 20, says she never thinks twice about writing on her Facebook page because she gets along with her boss.

“It would suck if my boss was different,” Driver says.

“It’s your profile to express what you’re feeling and what you want to say. You shouldn’t have to be restricted or toned down by anyone.”

One major problem many users are oblivious of is that their profile is automatically set to be on public view.

Media arts production student Chris Noble, 21, found that out the hard way. He signed up to Facebook 10 months ago and couldn’t figure out why random people were contacting him.

“I couldn’t believe that. I thought [my Facebook profile] was set to private mode. I felt vulnerable and annoyed that anyone, complete strangers, could view my page and information and I had no idea that it was my duty to change the default settings from public viewing to private. It’s ridiculous,” Noble says.

At the end of the day, if you’re going to use Facebook, make sure your profile settings are appropriate. Take advantage of friend category lists such as family, colleagues, friends and acquaintances to filter your relationships and content.

And if your boss does decide to add you on Facebook, it’s not career suicide if you place them on limited profile, where certain parts of your profile content become restricted to them.

After all, do you really want them seeing a photo of you in a bikini or Speedos roaming freely on the beach?

Let’s face it: Facebook was designed as a personal platform for social communication – and for some people, that means leaving work relationships at the office.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/technology/is-your-boss-your-friend-or-foe/2009/05/18/1242498694440.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap2

May 12, 2009

Technology is changing our people skills, writes Nick Galvin.

In a sketch from comedians Idiots of Ants, a man knocks on the door of a schoolmate from 20 years ago and tries to “friend” him.

As the scene plays out, it becomes painfully apparent the two thirtysomethings have nothing in common – in fact they don’t even like each other. By the end of the sketch the schoolmate is thoroughly confused and confronted by this sudden intrusion of online life into his real world.

It’s funny but also serves to highlight a serious point. Maybe, just maybe, spending so much time socialising via SMS, Facebook, email, YouTube, blogs, MySpace, Bebo, Flickr, Twitter, 12Seconds, RSS Feeds, Digg or Friendster is not good for us.

Maybe there is a risk for at least some users that they will become so enmeshed in online life that it takes precedence over the complex interactions of the real world.

One person who believes it may be cause for concern is respected British neuroscientist Susan Greenfield.

Recently she speculated that social networking sites could destroy real-world relationship skills.

“I often wonder whether real conversation in real time may eventually give way to these sanitised and easier screen dialogues, in much the same way as killing, skinning and butchering an animal to eat has been replaced by the convenience of packages of meat on the supermarket shelf,” she says.

“Perhaps future generations will recoil with similar horror at the messiness, unpredictability and immediate personal involvement of a three-dimensional, real-time interaction.”

Inevitably, Greenfield’s pronouncements ignited lurid headlines of the “Facebook will rot your brain” variety in some media.

They also sparked accusations that she was just the latest in a long line of oldies to look at the behaviour of the next generation with disapproval and concern.

The power and reach of social networks have increased exponentially in recent years with the massive growth in mobile networked devices: PDAs and so-called smartphones. There are about 2.8 billion mobile phones being used worldwide – a figure growing by a staggering 1.6 million a day.

Suddenly, our online friends have been untethered from the desktop and can now follow us anywhere. Applications that allow users to update Facebook pages or Twitter streams on the go are increasingly common.

The effect has been that we are now rarely alone. It is easily possible to go days or even weeks without ever being more than a text message or a status update away from our social network.

William Deresiewicz is a literary critic and former professor of English at Yale University. In a recent essay, he bemoaned the loss of solitude in our lives.

“Technology is taking away our privacy and our concentration but it is also taking away our ability to be alone,” he says. “Though I shouldn’t say taking away. We are doing this to ourselves; we are discarding these riches as fast as we can.”

Deresiewicz and others have pointed out that spending time alone gives us time to reflect and the space to think. It might be a structured act of solitude such as a religious retreat or meditation session or it might be in a less formal setting such as sitting in a boat with a fishing rod. But the fisherman can scarcely be said to be alone when he has his mobile-connected device in his pocket at all times.

The jury is still out on whether the social networking phenomenon really is the pernicious corrupting influence that some critics suggest or whether it is the technological gift that supporters claim could alter the way human society evolves.

Almost inevitably, the answer will lie somewhere between those two extremes. Perhaps simply by being aware of a potential downside to social networking we will reap the benefits without suffering any of the side effects.

“It’s almost like we need to teach people again about the value of friendship and the value of solitude,” says John Lenarcic, a lecturer at RMIT’s School of Business Information Technology, with a particular interest in social media. “But the genie is out of the bottle – there’s no way you could go back to an era when these things didn’t exist.”

Is there anybody home?

Sue* is a Sydneysider who has chosen to stay at home with her two young children and online relationships are an important part of her life. For more than five years she has been a very active member of a discussion forum of about 200 women who, she says, provide support, gossip, entertainment and, in some cases, genuine friendship.

“I wouldn’t say that everyone is my friend but there are definitely real-life friends that I have made in that forum,” she says. “We will go out to dinner and send each other’s kids birthday presents.

“I guess it’s like hanging out with other parents in the school playground. They are not always people you would choose to socialise with but you do have a connection, so if you hear it’s their birthday, you say, ‘Happy birthday.’ ” Occasionally, however, the virtual and the real can overlap in dramatic fashion.

Sue says there have been occasions when a forum member has shown obvious signs of depression or even suicidal thoughts and the response from others in the group has been to send a “virtual hug or a smiley e-card”.

“What they really need is to be told to get to a doctor or even have someone call triple-O for them,” she says.

* Name changed to protect Sue’s anonymity.
http://www.theage.com.au/news/technology/web/social-notworking-there-goes-our-people-skills/2009/05/11/1241893916135.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1

It’ll make you a better employee, according to an Australian study that shows surfing the Internet for fun during office hours increases productivity.

The University of Melbourne study showed that people who use the Internet for personal reasons at work are about 9 percent more productive that those who do not.

Study author Brent Coker, from the department of management and marketing, said “workplace Internet leisure browsing,” or WILB, helped to sharpened workers’ concentration.

“People need to zone out for a bit to get back their concentration,” Coker said on the university’s website (www.unimelb.edu.au/)

“Short and unobtrusive breaks, such as a quick surf of the Internet, enables the mind to rest itself, leading to a higher total net concentration for a days’ work, and as a result, increased productivity,” he said.

According to the study of 300 workers, 70 percent of people who use the Internet at work engage in WILB.

Among the most popular WILB activities are searching for information about products, reading online news sites, playing online games and watching videos on YouTube.

“Firms spend millions on software to block their employees from watching videos, using social networking sites or shopping online under the pretence that it costs millions in lost productivity,” said Coker. “That’s not always the case.”

However, Coker said the study looked at people who browsed in moderation, or were on the Internet for less than 20 percent of their total time in the office.

“Those who behave with Internet addiction tendencies will have a lower productivity than those without,” he said.

(Writing by Miral Fahmy; Editing by Valerie Lee)

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090402/lf_nm_life/us_work_internet;_ylt=Ajv93cQKOzgitgxsVSCbHBsDW7oF

New article…in press but cuurrently only in corrected proof…

Time banditry: Examining the purloining of time in organizations

Human Resource Management Review, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 1 May 2009
Laura E. Martin, Meagan E. Brock, M. Ronald Buckley, David J. Ketchen Jr.

Abstract:

Time banditry, a variant of counterproductive work behavior, is defined as the propensity of employees to engage in non-work related activities during work time. We extend past research on time banditry in two ways. First, we develop a model of time banditry. It is posited that a significant number of employees engage in time banditry despite their level of engagement with their job and even when productivity levels remain at an acceptable level. Implications of the model are described and testable propositions are developed. Second, we suggest that time bandits as a group are not monolithic, but instead there are at least four types of bandits.
Supervisors need to manage each type with different human resource management practices.

25 per cent of employees steal work time
Time theft becoming more prevalent
Technology makes illicit activity easier

ARE you one of the 25 per cent of employees costing employers an estimated $1 billion a year in lost productivity by stealing work time?

Employers have been looking at the costs of workplace time theft since Robert Half published a report in 1983 estimating that the average employee steals four hours and 15 minutes a week – more than five full work weeks a year.

For many years, some employees have engaged in “moonlighting”, which involved working in a second job in the evenings or weekends.

But employees are now squeezing in outside work during a regular shift, creating a new and growing phenomenon called “daylighting”, The Courier-Mail reports.

It could be writing computer programs, creating graphic designs, typing university assignments or completing some other task in the employer’s time in return for payment from an outside source.

Time theft has always been a problem, but it is becoming more prevalent. With workdays becoming longer and workloads becoming more demanding, employees are two-timing the boss.

There are many demands placed on people outside their work. Employees try to get some of it done during work time or they may arrive late or leave early to try to meet these non-work responsibilities.

Gen Y in particular does not feel the sense of loyalty to employers that older workers do. Older workers are comfortable with going to work, then going home. Work and recreation time are separate. Younger workers prefer to mix work and play on the boss’s time.

Access to technology has made illicit workplace activity much easier. A survey of 1500 employees conducted by a HR management solutions company reported that respondents admitted spending up to two hours a day taking part in some sort of non-work activity.

Companies often provide employees with a range of mobile communication technology and expect them to be always available. The result is a tendency for employees to say: “If I need time during the day for personal needs, I am going to take it”.

Popular activities associated with cyberbludging include personal emails and phone calls, online shopping, social networking and games.

US sociologist Abby Schoneboom says part of the the fun of cyberbludging comes from the strenuous efforts to conceal it. A carefully rehearsed cover-up story to disguise such activity imbues stolen work time with a heightened value and excitement.

Alternative views argue that electronic breaks are not distracting employees from their work but actually increasing staff efficiency and morale. These findings are based on university trials carried out on a cross-section of British businesses.

Many employers, however, are combating alleged productivity losses and inappropriate use of workplace resources by either downsizing or salary reduction.

An employment law firm conducted research and found that seven out of 10 companies ban access to social networking sites and are considering banning personal internet access altogether.

In these tough economic times employees should be prepared to either face legal action or accept dismissal if they get caught stealing the bosses’ time. Surely it is fraudulent behaviour.

Eric Johnston
May 4, 2009 – 12:39PM

A keen user of technology, ANZ’s Australian boss Brian Hartzer this morning used his Twitter internet site to tell staff his resignation from the bank.

”Folks this is my last tweet as I’ve resigned to pursue an overseas opportunity. Thanks for your continued support for ANZ,” Mr Hartzer said to his 383 followers in update known as a ”Tweet”.

The 42 year old was not specific about his plans. No further details were immediately available.

The exit of Mr Hartzer represents a major setback for ANZ chief executive Mike Smith who had been happy to focus on building the bank’s Asian ambitions while allowing the well-regarded executive run the bank’s Australian retail business.

The move also took the bank by surprise given it had scheduled investor meetings with Mr Hartzer as recently as last week.

ANZ confirmed the exit of Mr Hartzer this morning in a statement saying he was leaving to pursue a career in international banking.

The bank has appointed the head of the bank’s New Zealand business Graham Hodges to step in to Mr Hartzer’s role in an acting capacity while the bank seeks a full time replacement.

Mr Smith said Mr Hartzer had transformed ANZ into a retail banking force in Australia with leading levels of customer satisfaction and staff engagement, and a reinvigorated brand.

Mr Hartzer was one of the front-runners to be appointed chief executive officer of ANZ in late 2007, but was passed over for Mr Smith – a top ranked HSBC executive.

The US-born, Mr Hartzer was first appointed at the head of ANZ’s retail business in May 2004. There he was known for delivering fast growth in profits as he overhauled the bank’s customer service to make it more friendly to customers.

He has been with the bank since 1996, following a stint as a management consultant with First Manhattan.

In other tweets, Mr Hartzer outlined the demands executive life, expressing “relief” after the bank delivered its interim results last week.

On April 23 he posted an entry ”Juggling day today. Email, family/kids, GFC!. Wish the weather were better’!”

ejohnston@theage.com.au

http://business.theage.com.au/business/im-out-tweets-anz-boss-20090504-arx0.html

April 22, 2009 – 1:26PM

Google is giving people influence over what information turns up during online searches on their names.

The internet search king began on Tuesday featuring voluntarily created Google profiles at the bottoms of US “name-query” pages.

“It’s no secret that from time to time many of us have searched on Google for our name or someone else’s,” Google software engineer Brian Stoler wrote in a posting at the company’s website.

“When searching for yourself to see what others would find, results can be varied and aren’t always what you want people to see. We want to make that better and give you more of a voice.”

Google profiles contain basic information and pictures that people don’t mind sharing. Concise profiles are displayed along with results of searches on people’s names to allow a little control of one’s online image.

AFP

http://www.theage.com.au/news/technology/web/manage-your-reputation-on-google/2009/04/22/1240079714536.html