Shanghaiist was scanning the Shanghai Morning Post and decided, after reading just the main headlines, that we could indeed spare the seven jiao needed to purchase this paper. On the top left hand corner we noticed an ad for 嗨！ 上海 (最 HIGH 的 上海生活门户） which translates to “Hi! Shanghai (the most HIGH Shanghai lifestyle portal)”. What we found there was a cookie-cutter portal which tries to be everything for everyone.
A headline from the Morning Post was also on this website, leading us to think that the two are related. That story was about the the sale of university admissions spots on Taobao.com, a popular internet auction and shopping site. The prices ranged from 50,000 to 240,000 RMB, with a spot in the freshman class of Shanghai’s East China Normal University (华东师范大学）worth 140,000 RMB. According to the “seller,” Shanghai Jiaotong University, Qinghua and Beijing University are all in the works too. Of course, this prompted responses from various school, city, and national level officials, as well as from Taobao itself, which promptly froze and deleted the seller’s account. Of course, anyone who would fall for such a scam is probably an idiot not fit to go to any of these universities, but we can’t say we hold Mr. Ren, the confidence man behind this, in high regard either. Maybe he’s brilliant, or else an idiot too. But if there is at least one sucker that falls for it, we’re sure that Mr. Ren will recoup whatever losses or investment he made in this scam.
We found another interesting story about a girl who didn’t get a job she was applying for because of her MSN blog. It seems that employers are getting savvy to the fact that many young, urban, professional types have their own blogs and might even resort to reading them to get a better sense of who applicants are. In this girl’s blog, the words 跳板 (tiao ban) and 跳槽 (tiao cao) appeared quite frequently. The first word refers to the jumping block not unlike the kind used in gymnastics and is a metaphor for a job that serves as a means to a better job. The other word is simply the word used to mean changing jobs. After reading her blog, this employer had pegged her as one of those people that wasn’t going to put it on the line for the company so, despite having a good resume and gone through several rounds of interviews, she was rejected.
This begs the question of whether or not blogs, or other online content, should figure at all in the hiring process. The blogs are online, open to anyone with an internet connection, and yet isn’t there something essentially private about them, at least for the purposes of hiring a person? If you read this Shanghaiist’s blog, for example, you might think that we are neurotic, inarticulate, depressed, and possibly schizophrenic, which could definitely prove detrimental to our employment prospects. Thankfully, one of our “jobs” is blogging on Shanghaiist, where everyone else is the same (the neurotic part, at least?), but in unique and different ways.
Photo from Internet Time Blog.