I was on Good Morning America this morning, interviewed for a story about the many online work-at-home scams that are floating around the web these days. Here’s a link to the story on the web site,
and here’s a direct link to the video. Edit: I guess GMA’s urls don’t really work, the actual video at the link keeps changing. I even used their “link to this” button! I’ll try to find a more permanent url. I would embed the video for you here but unfortunately ABCNews doesn’t seem to allow embedding.
This is a very important story – these scams employ a number of social engineering techniques to seem trustworthy and they are tricking people who are desperate for work out of their money. The folks at GMA did a good job explaining the issue without getting too technical and confusing – please forward this on to anyone you know who’s wondering about schemes like these.
If you’ve clicked through and watched the video, you might have noticed something – they got my name wrong! I assure you that I am, and always have been Jason Morrison and not James Morrison.
Besides getting ribbed by coworkers ad friends, this naming mishap is propagating to local ABC affiliates. How long until I’m forced to change my name just to convince everyone I’m really me?
This is my second trip to TV as a Googler, last year I was interviewed on The Morning Show in Australia for our Google Docs-based baby name poll. This issue is much more serious, so I did more preparation this time. It’s hard to boil down important information into small pieces for broadcast news. My natural tendency is to explain, which works well when I’m giving a presentation on a technical topic but doesn’t work as well in a 90-second segment for a non-technical audience.
They actually filmed a lot more than what you see – it took about a half hour to get through all the questions and some establishing shots. I’m not too worried that they only grabbed a couple of snippets from the interview – I am, after all, just a geeky guy trying to warn people about uncouth spammers, not a television personality. It’s quite possible that I didn’t give them a lot of usable film. The important thing is that the info is getting out there.
By the way, this is one of the things I like about working for Google – I’m not sure most companies would go out and tell people about a scam using the company logo. I think in the long term, anything we can do to educate and protect our users is beneficial.
Also, notice that they put me right out in front of the camera – Google is one of the few companies that will send journalists right to someone who really knows about an issue, rather than always using PR professionals and spokespeople. I bet the idea of having a programmer speak on national TV is horrifying to most companies.
So how did I (or this James person) do? Should they hide me back in the cubicles?