Is Facebook really the best place to work in? It might not be, after all

I visited the new Facebook campus in Menlo Park, California last week. As everybody, I could be anything but impressed: the building is 430,000-square-foot, it is the largest open-workspace in the world, and was designed by Franck Ghery, who also designed Los Angeles’ Disney Concert Hall. The various activities offered (room dedicated for video games, nap area, for instance) and the wide range of food options encountered at every corner (hamburgers, coffee place, ice cream place, hot dogs stands, etc.) – definitely gives the wanderer the illusion to be in an attraction park more than in a working space.

Last year, employees on Glassdoor have voted Facebook the No. 1 company to work for overall. Even if Facebook has often been regarded as one of the best places to work in the tech industry, this article is meant to show that this model presents many downsides.

The reviews of the employees are actually very mixed, as it is shown:

https://www.indeed.com/cmp/Facebook/reviews

The Facebook campus model does enable any work-life balance

The Facebook campus is opened 24/7, and offers food all day long and nap areas to its employees. Some Employees admit that they tend to stay longer to work. A few are even sleeping at the office, and do not eat at home anymore

And employees have to stay connected all the time

“For six weeks out of the year, I’m on 24/7 on-call duty”; “You can never really leave work, even when you’re on vacation”; “Ungodly amounts of email from internal communications, 1,600 or more a day”; “At most companies, you put up a wall between a work personality and a personal one, which ends up with a professional workspace. The wall does not exist at Facebook”

http://www.indiatimes.com/lifestyle/technology/10-employees-talk-about-working-at-facebook-and-it-doesn-t-sound-all-that-pretty-252275.html

The firm culture can also be called into question

“A large company trying to act like a young one”; “I’ve seen decisions being made by interns”; “Looking too hard at Google”; “Working for Facebook sometimes means wasting a lot of time browsing Facebook”

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-22-worst-things-about-working-at-facebook-according-to-employees-2015-7/#ck-and-sheryl-imposing-a-holier-than-thou-attitude-13

Even if they benefit of many free services, their life-style is not as healthy as it used to be:

Using free bikes and the gym available on the campus replace the usual weekly exercise. However, most of the employees admit that going to the gym is not part of their regular schedule anymore, and that do not go as often as they used to before joining Facebook. Also, with free food and free snacks often in all the buildings, and at every floor, most of them start gaining weight as soon as they join the firm.

Facebook is accelerating the gentrification of Silicon Valley

Facebook offered employees 10,000$ to live close to the office, and “a lot of local families are going to get hurt” “

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/dec/18/facebook-offers-employees-10000-to-live-close-to-the-office

The relationships between colleagues are altered

Facebook Employees have to become “Facebook friends” with their colleagues. Do your colleagues always have to be your friends? Some admits that looking the pictures posted daily by colleagues alter the image they have of them and their working relationship

The company does not manage its own growth well

In 2010, Facebook has 1,700 employees. In 2016, it has 11,996, and critics are raised about Facebook’s quick scale up, and inability to keep its start-up culture

https://www.fastcompany.com/3053776/how-facebook-keeps-scaling-its-culture

 

 

 

 

 

Four hour challenge / Oscars and Politics

Only a few weeks after a Golden Globes’ Ceremony, where actors praised diversity, and openly criticized the policy of the newly elected President, the Oscars were expected on Sunday night to be a real political night, and another demonstration of the non-alignment of the world of arts with the ongoing US politics. President Trump, who had shared angry reactions on Twitter after the Golden Globes announced a few days before that he would not watch the Oscars Ceremony.

Here is a 4-hour review of the political statements that were heard during the Oscars nights.

20:41: Jimmy Kimmel, Master of Ceremony jokes that the ceremony is being watched by “220 countries that now hate us”. He adds: “I want to say thank you to President Trump, remember last year when it seemed like the Oscars were racist?”, and “If every person took a minute to reach out to one person you disagree with and have a positive conversation we can make America great again – it starts with us”.

20:43: Jimmy Kimmel spots Meryl Streep in the audience and pays tribute to her “many uninspiring and overrated performances” (which had been Trump’s comments on Twitter, after the actress made a anti-Trump speech at the Golden Globes). He adds “nice dress, by the way”,“Is that an Ivanka?”

21:11: Alessandro Bertolazzi, who receives the Oscar of the best make-up and hairstyling, reminds the audience that he is an Italian immigrant.

22:05: Anousheh Ansari reads out a statement on behalf of the winner of the Oscar for the Foreign movie, Asghar Farhadi. The statement to Trump’s recent ban of immigrants traveling to the US from seven countries, including Iran: “It is a great honor to be receiving this valuable award for the second time. I’m sorry I’m not with you tonight, my absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of the other six countries who have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans immigrants from seven countries to the US”

22:11: Gael Garcia Bernal gets political on stage, and states: “As a Mexican and a human being, I’m against any kind of wall that wants to separate us.”

22:42: Advertising for Hyatt: “What the World Needs Now Is Love” which shows people of different races eyeing each other suspiciously before finding a connection. The ad concludes with “For a world of understanding.”

02:08 Actor Winner Casy Affleck (after criticizing President Trump’s measures the day before) says “Man, I wish I had something bigger and more meaningful to say”.

 

Bio

Hello everybody,

I am Eva, and I am currently a Master of Public Administration student at the Harvard Kennedy School.

I am French, and grew up in Paris.

I have always been passionate about advocacy, public policies and international relations. I have worked for both the French government and International Institutions. When I was 25, I move to Washington DC, and lived there 5 years before coming to Cambridge. I worked first for the French Embassy, and then for the World Bank. At the World Bank, I worked on education and social protection issues, and traveled to many countries in Africa to support World Bank policies and programs.

I am an avid media consumer, and I have always admired news reporters, and journalists. I have always tried to be inspired by their ability to connect with people and shape public opinion in my work. A while back, I participated in the creation of a European daily newspaper.

I love writing, playing the piano, making sculpture, reading novels, re-reading favorite books, traveling, listening to others’ stories, meet strangers and learn to know them, wandering around with a camera, drinking expressos and green tea, going to exhibitions, giving advice on great places to go to in Paris.

My hope for this class is to know more about media today, the different tools that can be used, and thinking about ways to build bridges between classic media and social media. I am very excited to be part of such a diverse group and learn from all of you!

A few thoughts on media and storytelling tools

There are several tools that I had never heard about before reading the articles assigned for this week’s class, and that I believe can have important implications for the future of news and storytelling.

I believe that news has to have tools that enable to collaborate with social media – one the one hand, social media can benefit from the higher quality of content news provide; and on the other hand, news can benefit from the bottom-up information sharing that is vivid on social media. In particular, when it comes to the sharing of stories, tools such as Shorthand Social, StoryMap.js, or Storyful multisearch could be very interesting and fruitful.

I also believe that data visualization has an important role to play – we live in a world with a huge number of data, and many people are not aware of the figures, or do not know how to read them. Data provide a lot of information, but the information has to be processed. That’s why I believe that tools such as Silk.co, DataPortals.org

Finally, I believe that tools using current tools and trying to analyze them, such as advanced twitter search, and Tweetdeck might be particulary interesting in the months and years to come.