Okay, I think we’re starting to cover some repetitive ground, so let me see if I can sum up the issues and questions so that we can get to—well if not closure, than at least a caesura.
I think the last few comments have underlying themes to them—at least one of the following is true for most of them:
1) I don’t believe you are truly concerned about the environment and I therefore do not believe your explanations
2) I believe you are concerned about the environment but mistaken about your environmental impact
3) I don’t believe the digital certificates and cards will be respected by hiring managers
So let me address each of these in turn:
1) If you don’t believe me when I say that we are genuinely concerned with improving our environmental impact, then we have a trust issue, and frankly, there’s not much point in pursuing the conversation further. It’s very difficult to prove motive and intent, particularly in a medium devoid of direct interpersonal contact, so I’ll simply say: I hope and trust that over time we will convince you otherwise.
2) If you believe that our paper/plastic solution was more environmentally friendly than our digital solution, I’d love to know—truthfully—how to verify that. Perhaps our operations team has already done this, I don’t know (I’ll ask)—but I do trust them at their word that this is a much cleaner solution. I understand that many of you want proof in the form of hard numbers, but the absence of proof doesn’t mean a statement still isn’t true. :-)
3) About the digital wallet cards--let’s be brutally honest, shall we:
Anything on paper is forgeable. There are any number of Internet sites out there that will produce authentic-looking certificates and wallet cards for you for a fee, without requiring you to prove your certification. If you’re going to argue that paper certificates and plastic cards are somehow more authentic than digital ones—or that they are more difficult to forge—you won’t find me to be a receptive audience, sorry.
Let me go even one step further: I don’t think the digital certificates are any better than the paper ones as far as authenticity goes. I personally have never and would never use my certificates to prove my certifications to a client or employer (I sure am proud of them, though—I have all my certificates going back to 70-001).
Today there is one and only one way to truly prove your certifications to an employer: the transcript sharing tool. The problem with this tool, however, is that it’s fairly obscure and requires you to share an ID and password (which is perfectly safe but feels wrong nonetheless).
In less than two months, however, you’ll be able to use your digital wallet cards in place of the transcript sharing tool. That’s really what the ID digital cards are all about: a nice-looking, easy-to-use-and-understand transparent gateway to the transcript sharing tool. You won’t need to share a user ID and password anymore—employers and clients can simply click on the card to verify your credentials. They’re not forgeable—I’m sure people will try, but they won’t link to our certification database to validate the credentials (they’d be a flat jpg instead).
We will aggressively promote the use of these cards as the best way to verify an MCP’s credentials—both to MCPs and to hiring managers—and I fully expect that they will be the most value-reinforcing benefit in the MCP program.
As for the look and feel of the cards, the examples you’ve seen here feature artwork and avatars—but you can simply use your own photo in place of the artwork if you prefer, and the card should then look considerably more professional than what you use today. As for the certificates—they should look exactly the same.
I realize that many of you are skeptical, and that’s okay—in fact, we’d love to include some of you in our testing and piloting over the next couple of months (let us know if you’re interested). But I’d like to propose that you wait until you see and use the product before you bash it. :-)
Thanks for the feedback—we’re reading each and every comment!