I've just had a post deleted from a graduate job site's forum. It was a post which offered undergrads or new grads - or you, if you like - a bit of work experience with a media company (emap's specialist media business, based in Peterborough, Cambs, because that's where I work).
I thought it might be the kind of thing that was useful for people trying to work out what they want to do in the world of work. And, of course, the learning experience can and should be a two-way thing.
My post (and at least they emailed me to explain) was being removed because: "...The Forum is a place for discussion and advice - it's not a place to advertise positions I'm afraid. This is a rule we employ across the board. That is why we have a proper, regulated jobs board on the site.
"Unfortunately, we are going to delete your post from the Forum for the above reason. If you are interested in officially advertising your positions with us then please do get back in touch with me and I'll pass your details along to the sales team, who can help you out. Media positions and work experience are hard to come by and I know that our huge user base would love to see you advertising your positions with us in the proper fashion."
Er, we haven't got a position to advertise - and aren't advertising it. I'm offering an open door to someone wanting to learn a little about life in media. Isn't that advice/information that might be of some use to the people the forum is meant to be for - we could discuss it if you like?
The moment you start deleting from forums (unless there's something really offensive going on - and then I'm right there with you) you are defining the forum as yours, rather than ours. Communities don't like that. The last post before mine on the forum in question was in October...
You can't control the conversation. It'll go on with or without your involvement. It'll go on elsewhere.
I haven't named them because I'm choosing to be kind today. I can't promise I'll always be this nice.
Is it just me - or is there a certain irony in the sign-off line of the email signature for the company in question:
"Helping people... make more informed and successful decisions about their future"
Where were the brackets saying (provided there's a buck in it for us)?
So, if you'd like to have some work experience somewhere, here's a tip. Contact someone who works for the company you're interested in - perhaps through a blog one of them is writing. There's a fair chance you'll get in touch with a human being and one who'll be chuffed you're interested in them.
Start with me if you like: david(dot)cushman(at)emap(dot)com
Go on - delete that.