Everyone who's anyone

Yesterday, I received in the mail a notice that I was a candidate for inclusion in Cambridge Who's Who Executives and Professionals directory. Apparently, this means I was selected by their research department. Who ARE these people who do this research? And why on earth would they pick me? I mean, I'm pretty good at what I do, but I'm certainly no "who's who".

I guess that being a candidate doesn't mean I'll necessarily be included - after filling out an application, they conduct a phone interview to decide if I'm worthy.

I admit, I'm completely ignorant of this whole concept. How does being listed in this directory benefit me at all - aside from a few coupons? And I can't help but feel that, if it's so easy to be listed in Who's Who that they include ME, it can't be that much of a honor. Honestly. If I'd done something special, or even had an article published or something, I wouldn't be so skeptical, but as it stands, I'm just a wet-behind-the-ears librarian, a D-list at best blogger, and I don't even qualify as a "skilled-casual" World of Warcraft player.

Is there something I'm missing here?


  1. Heh. I had completely forgotten until now that I was in Who's Who in American High School Students for a couple of years! I don't think it got me a single thing except some extra marketing from colleges. I even bought a copy of the book once (and that's probably why they pick you, and where they make their money). I wonder if my mom still has that floating around at home.

    The only time I ever remember using anything like Who's Who for ANYTHING was in a report in junior high. I think I had to look up JFK in it or something.

    I don't think being in it will be bad for you, certainly, but with the easy internet access so freely available nowadays, it might not be that useful either. Then again, it's *having your name printed in a book* - doesn't that speak to the librarian in you? :)

  2. All of that certainly makes you more than minimally qualified to have a reality show on Bravo.

  3. Hmmm...it's not that I wouldn't mind having my name printed in a book. But this sort of book is like the phone book to me. Not really anything special.

    Though if it DOES mean I'm really special, than maybe it's worth it. If they put Librarian Supreme as my job title...that's very tempting.

  4. Um, not to burst your bubble, but those are usually fee based directories. You can be in as many who's who that you want, if you pay the fee for the entry.

  5. Jeff, I was curious about that too, but they claim there is no cost.

  6. Most "who's who" services, even if they are fee-based, make their money off selling their book to the people they list. Professionals (or high school students or name_your_category) that have an online presence seem to be most likely to get trolled. You and your family and your friends all buy the book and they make a tidy profit. From Cambridge Who's Who website: "Our registry is published in an elegant hardcover format, which should proudly be displayed in your home or office."

    Actually the next sentence is the real clincher: "The registry is an important part of membership and is offered exclusively to our members." In other words, you may not have to pay to be listed, but you will have to buy a membership to get access to the book. A little more clicking around their website and it looks like an ordinary job networking site, only one you have to pay for. Your phone interview would probably consist of "Do you have a visa or mastercard?"

  7. Oooh, insta-update. The Annoyed Librarian also got trolled for this and thinks the ALA is the one that sold her name to them:


  8. That is HILARIOUS! And also, irritatingly true. Little did I know that by joining ALA, the official organization of my profession, I would immediately be put on every junk mailing list, both virtaul and physical, in the country. Ever since I became a member, the amount of junk mail addressed to me has tripled.

  9. When we got to our new place, we signed up for Verizon's Fios service. The moment they gave us our telephone number, they turned around and promptly sold that number to every telemarketer IN THE WORLD. And then they had the nerve to charge us over three hundred buck'oos for the first month's bill, claiming "set-up fees". Considering how much cash they made on my number alone, they ought to be paying me.


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