You graduate from college. You want to close out those years, but share them with your friends who might want to glean some useful information from your knowledge and experience. Perhaps they are still undergraduates themselves? How do you share that information? If you are Karen Owen, a 2010 graduate of Duke University, you create a 42 page Powerpoint presentation of your “horizontal academics” and send the presentation to three of your friends.
In the Powerpoint, you include pictures of your subjects, their names, and various data points about them that you gathered during your late night, “research”. These data points include: attractiveness, aggressiveness, size, talent, creativity, entertainment, and athletic ability. You intend it as a joke between friends. However, one of your friends thinks it is so good, she forwards the Powerpoint to one or more of her friends, and the next thing you know, your “Senior Thesis” that you meant as a joke, has gone viral.
Your subjects, all of whom are athletes, many of whom are still enrolled undergraduates at Duke, now find their names plastered across the Internet on sites like Jezebel and Deadspin. Your former “subjects” don’t call it “research”, they call it harassment.
And you? You find yourself on the Today show (above), The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post and, well…on every news outlet…and so you hide, and wait for the book deals to arrive. And you should take one, because you might find job hunting a tad difficult at this point, even if the economy were good.
Oh, but you, the reader, want to know where you can see her now infamous Powerpoint?
My take? Too Much Data and Information. (But, yes, I still blogged about it.)