Daniel W. Drezner

Where will the new jobs come from? I have your answer right here

Whenever there is a discussion about the structural shifts taking place in the American economy, there’s usually a question along the lines of, "where will the new jobs come from?"  This is a fantastically difficult question to answer.  The answer requires an ability to predict future sectoral trends in the economy, which last I checked ...

Whenever there is a discussion about the structural shifts taking place in the American economy, there's usually a question along the lines of, "where will the new jobs come from?" 

This is a fantastically difficult question to answer.  The answer requires an ability to predict future sectoral trends in the economy, which last I checked is pretty difficult.  For example, we know that many journalists are going the way of do-do, but what will they do instead?

The New York Times' Noam Cohen, however, has pointed the way towards future employment opportunities for writers

Whenever there is a discussion about the structural shifts taking place in the American economy, there’s usually a question along the lines of, "where will the new jobs come from?" 

This is a fantastically difficult question to answer.  The answer requires an ability to predict future sectoral trends in the economy, which last I checked is pretty difficult.  For example, we know that many journalists are going the way of do-do, but what will they do instead?

The New York Times’ Noam Cohen, however, has pointed the way towards future employment opportunities for writers

In its short history, Twitter — a microblogging tool that uses 140 characters in bursts of text — has become an important marketing tool for celebrities, politicians and businesses, promising a level of intimacy never before approached online, as well as giving the public the ability to speak directly to people and institutions once comfortably on a pedestal.

But someone has to do all that writing, even if each entry is barely a sentence long. In many cases, celebrities and their handlers have turned to outside writers — ghost Twitterers, if you will — who keep fans updated on the latest twists and turns, often in the star’s own voice.

Because Twitter is seen as an intimate link between celebrities and their fans, many performers are not willing to divulge the help they use to put their thoughts into cyberspace.

Britney Spears recently advertised for someone to help, among other things, create content for Twitter and Facebook.  Kanye West recently told New York magazine that he has hired two people to update his blog. “It’s just like how a designer would work,” he said.

Guest Twitterers are just the beginning.  I see a robust future for Twitter script doctors ("the first clause is great, but the last three words died in the 18-24 demographic."), Twitter proofreaders ("are we using the English or American version of ‘harbor’?"), and — in world politics — Twitter translators and diplomatic advisors ("Mr. President, I’m not sure that twittering ‘the dollar is here to stay, motherf***ers!’ is really the right message to send right before the London summit.") 

And, as Tom Ricks points out, foreign actors might need some assistance on this front as well. 

Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at Tufts University’s Fletcher School. He blogged regularly for Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2014. Twitter: @dandrezner

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