July 17, 2007

Interning at Ziggs

On today's Web, amateur bloggers command publishing space alongside our most seasoned writers; citizen shoppers join the ranks of Consumer Reports; and classmates create friend groups with the scope and influence of master networkers. Interning at Ziggs has allowed me to experience a striking offline parallel to the culture of the new Web in which amateurs are immediately granted an all access pass to participate on a meaningful level with top professionals. I joined Ziggs while the company was in the midst of launching the Ziggs Hub. The culture of transparency and across-the-board participation that rules the Web was immediately palpable when I was offered a seat at the table at company planning meetings and encouraged to digest and contribute to new business and marketing developments.

I have been using social media for many years, but soon into my internship at Ziggs I realized how much I still had to learn. The biggest challenge was learning the language - the tech code: spider, bug, beta, tag, devweb, CPM, CTR, VOIP, Vlog, build, track, RSS, FTP. It is a language of acronyms and applications and, as a self-proclaimed non-techie, I was not prepared. At my first morning meeting with the team, I could understand about half of what everyone was saying. Ziggs has offered me a crash course in what is happening on the Web where techies have taken over the social spheres of average users and are gradually infiltrating IT jargon into daily communications between friends.
I have never been an intensely out-of-the box thrill seeker, but the Web today still feels like the wild west of the business world. It remains a relatively new, unexplored territory where room for innovation driven by instinct is as much written into business plans as traditional strategy and Six Sigma metrics. While my classmates are on a morning Starbucks run for colleagues at a traditional, vertically structured company, at Ziggs I always need to be totally plugged into the site, exploring new functionality, ready to adapt at the drop of new code for our point releases. As a young professional, this open-source, nimble-enough-to-innovate-everyday pace at Ziggs is refreshing and keeps me on my toes.
Amanda Mooney, Ziggs Intern-at-Large


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