I’m a huge fan of Anu Garg’s A Word a Day newsletter. Since way back in 1994–ancient in Web publishing!–it has offered an uncomplicated value proposition: a single vocabulary word each day–defined, deconstructed, and placed in context (historical, literary, or both). Each week is usually built around a (sometimes whacky) theme–like porcine words to mark the Chinese new year, words borrowed from German, words related to repartee… whatever.
This week, it’s “professions from the past”–unusual ones, some of which now exist only as surnames or historical curiosities.
A century ago, those who rounded up debtors and tossed them into prison were called catchpoles (literally, chicken-chasers). A napier was in charge of the table linens in a royal household.
Garg points out that, with the passage of time, professions of the past fade away and new ones take their place. The Department of Labor routinely eliminates outmoded job titles from its database. “Titles such as bonbon dipper and rubber attacher have been bounced recently,” according to Inc.com writer Scott Westcott.
The internet, social media, and 3D virtual worlds make things interesting, too. As Garg says, “These days it’s not unusual to find titles such as Chief Privacy Officer or Blogger-in-Chief on corporate payrolls, professions… unheard of just a few years back.”
Which made me think about some of the newer job titles I’ve seen cross my inbox lately. In her regular communications with MarketingProfs members, our own Shelley Ryan has a little fun with her title: one week she’s the Premium Communications Samurai, the next she’s Premium Plus Camp Counselor, or Mission Control, or Seminar Junkie, Den Mother, or (my favorite) Pollen Magnet.
Other, emerging titles are significantly more real, even if they do sometimes seem equally made up. Blogging is increasingly becoming a corporate job, but “Chief Blogging Officer” really does sound a little silly to me. And lots of companies have “evangelists.” There’s more:
- The American Cancer Society has a Manager of Futuring and Innovation Based Strategies.
- Electric Sheep has a resident futurist (is there a non-resident futurist, as well?).
- IBM has a Vice President of Development for its Emerging Business Opportunity in Digital Convergence. (Paul Ledak: With that title, does your business card fit in your wallet?)
I’ve also noticed:
- VP of Emerging Media
- Chief Risk Officer
- Chief Evangelist
- New Media Specialist
- Chief Diversity Officer
- Virtual World Bureau Chief (The one and only Adam Pasick.)
- Chief Interruptor Officer (Jaffe: This means you.)
- Brand Champion
- Content Analyst
Harry Joiner, an executive recruiter who is more up on this stuff that I am, has a laundry list of
101 Internet Marketing Job Descriptions. And even then, the list isn’t exhaustive–it skips a lot of new media titles I’ve seen passed around lately.
I asked Harry, who also blogs here, about the growth of job titles in the past few years. He said “just about anything involving interactive is new from the last five years. The functions (like email manager and affiliate marketing manager) aren’t new–but companies’ hiring for those specific positions is a new thing.” And, he added, the Web 2.0 and social media titles are mushrooming, too.
Another thing about the Internet is… when you need a little help, you can usually find an online tool. If you are having trouble coming up with a new title to impress your friends and colleagues, give this a whirl.
So how about you? Got a 2.0 title or seen one recently? Add it here.