Thursday, September 15, 2011

Comments Policy

I haven't had one of these officially in place, beyond the things I've mentioned in the About page.  Some unpleasantness in the 2011 applicants' comments, however, have prompted me to review my approach here, so let me just briefly outline what I believe and why, what you can expect of me as the host and moderator, and what I expect of you in return.

  1. First and foremost, this is my site.  Period.  I run it for your edification, information, and enjoyment.  I reserve the right to preserve those qualities aggressively by any means necessary.  That means deletion of comments and, if necessary, banning of users.
  2. I believe that your edification, information, and enjoyment are maximized by allowing open and frank discussions unencumbered by ties to your real identities.  (If you need evidence for this, check out the comparative level of engagement here with that on the various GovLoop PMF resources; nothing against GovLoop, of course, but adding someone's real identity tends to hamper some kinds of communication).
  3. To date, I have pursued this belief by maintaining a purely anonymous comments system.  I understand that there will always be trolls.  They are inevitable, even with more robust identity solutions.  The problems I encountered, however, were exacerbated by the inability to deal with each commenter as an individual.  
  4. I am changing my policy for this PMF season to be pseudonymous rather than purely anonymous.  That means you will have to register some account.  I don't care whether you want to use your real name or not.  That is your choice.  What I care about is my own ability to maintain the greatest level of edification, information, and enjoyment possible in this format.
  5. From you, I expect civility.  Joking, snark, sarcasm, criticism, complaints, bellyaching, and the like are all allowed.  But I expect that you do not harass one another or make abusive comments about individuals involved in this process. Racist and/or sexist remarks will likewise not be tolerated here, and I reserve the right to remove any comments that fail to meet the standards here. Or for any reason, really. Additionally, I will ban repeat offenders.  
So I think that sums up the what, how, and why of my approach to comments.  Feel free to express your opinions about this policy here, whether they are positive or negative.  
Finally, should you have any concerns about any of this and don't want to air them publicly, you may contact me at Yeah, that's me putting a real email address on a webpage.

PMF 2012: Application Begins Today

Yes, it's that time again. The Presidential Management Fellows application process is officially open for the 2012 application year. Here's a very quick rundown of how to determine if you are eligible and what to expect. At the end of this article are the other great resources available on the web. I will be happy to answer any questions you have about the application process, assuming I know the answers, but otherwise, just let us all know whether you are going to apply or not.

The application window for this year is today, September 15, 2011 to September 25, 2011. School nominations have to be in by September 30, 2011.


To be eligible, you MUST be enrolled in a graduate program of some sort and be scheduled to complete your degree requirements between September 1, 2011 and August 31, 2012. Seems easy enough, right?

The Process

First, and I can't stress this enough, you have to find out who at your school handles PMF nominations. It's usually the dean of your particular program. You don't get invited to take the test unless your school nominates you. Make sure your nominating official has all the information he/she needs to complete the nomination. All of the materials you need can be found on the PMF website.

Second, go over to the job listing on USAJOBS and apply for the program. You can find it here:

Third, make sure all of your documents are saved all the way through on Application Manager. You can provide corrected documents if you need to, but sometimes they require processing time. In that case, it's better to get your application in early.

And fourth, let us know here or on GovLoop that you've applied. We like to have conversations here about the experience and what everyone else is going through. And since I have been through the process myself, there are things I can probably help you with. Good luck, everyone!