Sometimes, Social is Messy

Below is a job posting from my employer.  I didn’t see it until it was already posted – and customers showed it to me.

We screwed this posting up in a couple of ways (at least).  We wrote it like we were hiring someone impersonal and or detached.  And we didn’t consult the people already doing this work.

We’ve made great strides in Social Media/ Customer relations over the last months – but this shows we have a bit to learn.  We don’t have an overall corporate strategy on social media (yet).  We haven’t driven the message internally on who “owns” this (yet).

These are the things I get to help with.  This is why I think I have one of the most awesome jobs ever.

This is why 100 hours a week doesn’t feel like work.

I work for a company that is letting me influence these things – and they are listening, and giving me not only a voice, but a mandate.

In fact, they think I am moving too slowly 🙂

How cool is that?

Rackspace Hosting Named #43 on FORTUNE 2009
List of “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America

Rackspace is the world’s leader in hosting. We deliver enterprise-level managed services to businesses of all sizes and kinds around the world. Serving more than 31,000 customers in eight data centers worldwide, Rackspace integrates the industry’s best technologies and practices for each customer’s specific need and delivers it as a service via the company’s commitment to Fanatical Support®. We serve as an extension of our customers’ IT departments, enabling them to focus on their core business. We started in 1998 and since then Rackspace has grown more than 50 percent a year. There are currently over 2,600+ Rackers around the world serving our customers.

Our Cloud Hosting division is seeking a System Administrator II – Social Media to help monitor communication on various social media sites and blogs.  This position is critical to the Cloud’s customer loyalty initiative.

The responsibilities of the System Administrator – Social Media are:

  • Must love to talk/engage with customers.
  • Monitor several feeds on Twitter (Rackspace Cloud, Mosso, Cloud Sites, Cloud Files, Cloud Servers) and provide a timely response to customer comments.
  • Be a voice in the community – pro-actively tweeting interesting and insightful comments
  • Respond to customer’s issues, this person will need to own the problem – no matter what it involves – and work with the right teams to get the issue solved.  If it’s a technical issue, it would be expected that the individual would rely on their system administration skill set to solve the problem immediately.  If it’s a development, billing, sales, or systems related issue, this person would engage the other teams and take point on the customer communication side.
  • Monitor and respond to our internal forums.  Post insightful/interesting articles, responding to customer concerns, working with the right teams to make sure the correct answers are given in a timely manner.
  • Must have a strong “community voice” – always keeping things positive, informative, and helpful – as the responses will be seen by thousands.
The most competitive candidates will have the following skills:

  • Strong knowledge of social media outlets – Twitter, Industry Blogs, etc.
  • Basic knowledge of servers/computer hardware and software. Basic knowledge of DNS.
  • Basic knowledge of Network fundamentals. Basic knowledge of RedHat Linux and Windows OS.
  • Basic knowledge of system services (i.e., Apache, Mail transfer agents (sendmail, postfix, qmail), FTP, SSH and DNS).
  • Continually expands knowledge in the areas of new developments and trends; may make recommendations to management on desirable additions and developments.
  • Requires approximately 1 – 2 years experience working in a computer technical field.
  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science or engineering related field or equivalent work experience, preferred.
  • Technical certifications (i.e., RHCE, RHCT, A+, CompTIA, MySQL or CCNA,) are a plus.
  • Able to touch type 50 – 60 wpm. Good ability to handle multiple tasks and prioritize work in order to maintain required productivity levels.
  • Must be detailed in documenting information and practice good follow through techniques.
  • General problem solving abilities, coupled with a desire to take on responsibility.
  • Possesses good written and verbal communication skills; bi-lingual skills is a plus.
  • Due to the 24×7 operations of the business, must be able to work a flexible work schedule, may include nights, weekends, holidays, etc.


  1. a rep by any other name says:

    “System Administrator II – Social Media” is just a fancy name for customer support representative.

  2. @Mark – we will repost the position once we define it better. Until then you can always send a resume to – that goes to all hiring managers.

    This isn’t a “Twitter” position (one of the problems I had with the post). We aren’t a social media team – we are customer advocates that externalize Fanatical Support (TM). We are also change agents – when an issue comes to our attention we focus not only on solving the immediate customer issue, but also driving the appropriate change back into the company, so we can avoid the “falling through the cracks” or “broken promises” that occured in the first place.

    Feel free to send a resume if you think you can help us in this.


  3. Hey, Rob, talk about funny coincidences. I tweet I’m looking for a job and this comes up? I took a quick look at the rackspace site and didn’t see it listed. My biggest downfall is the network specific stuff, but it’s not hard from what knowledge I do have. Do you have a directly link you could send me?

  4. I can do an honest 30 wpm. When posting 140 characters at a time, that’s no problem. I see no problem with the ad as well. Very concise while still carrying enough detail. Would like to see more of daily duties, but there is enough to get the people you want in for the interview. Then everyone will get all info they need at that point.

    Paul — good point regarding the language/communication skills.

  5. Paul Claessen says:

    Rob – “I think I can type that fast”

    Yeah… but can you THINK that fast?

    (And you realize that 60 wpm means one word per SECOND, right?)
    But my point was, typing speed should not be a requirement.
    A modest typing skill would be sufficient. It should be about quality, not quantity! As far as that goes, I thinkg language skills are far more important. I’d rather wait 2 minutes for a concise and intelligent reply, than getting gibberish in 1 minute.

  6. I think I can type that fast – but it won’t be error free! Good enough for chats, perhaps 🙂

    Robs last blog post..Sometimes, Social is Messy

  7. Oh … except for the 50 -60 wpm touch type ability.
    That’s just plain absurd!
    I can’t even THINK that fast!

    That’s SO out of touch with the rest of the job description, the mind boggles!

  8. “We screwed this posting up in a couple of ways (at least). We wrote it like we were hiring someone impersonal and or detached”

    I don’t get that AT ALL! Looks like an okay ad to me. Especially the part above the requirements makes it very clear you’re NOT looking for “someone impersonal and or detached”. On the contrary! It makes very clear that you’re looking for a driven and committed person. Ad is fine.

    Paul Claessens last blog post..Hot Potato – Chips