An Open Media Job You Can’t Apply For

VibrantNation.com, “the leading online community for Baby Boomer women – the place where they connect and support each other on issues unique to life after 50,” doesn’t have an editorial director.

But that doesn’t mean you can apply.

In what HealthNewsReview writer Gary Schwitzer terms “the oddest thing I’ve ever seen,” the staff has posted a biography for the “composite Vibrant woman” who serves as editorial director.

In other words, she doesn’t exist, though that’s her photo to the right. (Goodness knows whose face that really is.)

Here’s what VibrantNation says about their creation:

Susan Lee Ward is a composite created and managed by the Vibrant Nation staff to represent themselves and the Vibrant Woman. VibrantNation.com is about its community and not any one person, and we believe that placing a single staff member in front of our community could distract our visitors and readers from the real subject at hand – them. That said, we know that faces and names can better represent the individuals behind Vibrant Nation than a disembodied title. Since we couldn’t invent a typical Vibrant Woman (there being no such thing!) we created the composite Vibrant Woman, representing a summation of what our members tell us about themselves. Susan Lee Ward is managed by the all-woman Vibrant Nation editorial team: Cara Reynolds and Beth Blakely.

As Schwitzer points out, “Susan” even gets bylines on some pages, like this one.

This doesn’t seem totally evil, of course, but it’s certainly a strange step to take. Thoughts?