Treatment document for “conflict of interest” scripts
Scripts: COI COI2
These two scripts explore the idea that a person’s free entry and unrestricted self-promotion on the Internet (with the help of search engines) can cause serious detractions in the workplace, depending on the person’s job. This idea is discussed at several other links on this site.
Employers have been looking up job candidates on search engines (“googling the name”) as part of their screening process. We have heard a lot about this lately especially with respect to social networking sites like “mypace.com” since students and sometimes adult employees have tended to use these sites to “rebel” and incriminate themselves and others. Employers are tending to do investigations “under the table” rather than state blogging policies. In these scripts, the complications that might ensue when a contractor works for a client but is paid by an agenting company are presented.
The second script is simpler than the first. In it, the protagonist is invited to join the “due diligence” and develop a business for doing the “skip tracer” investigations with search engines. I may add a flashback of issues that occur in school systems.
There are deeply political concerns underneath these scripts. Employers could use “blogger” screening as a kind of Rorschach test for social conformity. Some persons have suggested that professionalism demands “professional” management of one’s online presence as a public relations matter. Yet, following libertarian thought, the spontaneity of personal Internet speech can do a lot to bring integrity to political and social debate, which before the Internet had seemed limited to throwing money at lobbying groups in order to get one’s way (the “special interest” thing).
Nevertheless, some employers and power interests are developing the view that one should prove that he or she can compete “by the rules” and especially prove the ability to provide for other people (a family) before being heard speaking for oneself. (For non-competitive [or non-procreative] people there remains “the priesthood.”) Therefore self-published web content from those who did not pay their dues will be regarded not as literature deserving respect and abstraction, but merely as potentially disruptive conversation. There is real controversy about how a newbie, in a "free entry" environment, can establish a legitimate claim to a "right of publicity."
I am very serious about making a short film myself on this, at least the second script. Maybe this will hit the theaters or at least the DVD rentals some day. It needs to.
©Copyright 2006 by Bill Boushka
Professionalism and blogging
Proposed blogging policy
White paper on employee intellectual property
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