Tuesday, April 11, 2006

It's not to blog or not to blog...but what/how to blog that's the question

Yeah, yeah, this goes around every once in a while, but it matters, so we should talk about it. Particularly for blogging info professionals....

Check out Kelly's Like You Care post on blogging.

"I bring this up because I had a passionate discussion with some people last night about blogging. One person from the group thought that blogging was not safe--people might know too much about you or misinterpret what you say. Her point was that without body language, inflection, etc., the ideas recorded would not be perceived correctly. Another person thought you shouldn't include any personal information on your blog because everyone has access to it. The gist of her argument was that generic information is"safe". It's not easily misconstrued."

Now, I'm pretty sure that I'm one of these people referred to here, but I'm not sure which one, because I wouldn't say that either of these threads were argued by me passionately at 1 a.m. when we were talking in the bar (Hi Dad!)....to me, it has more to do with judgement. Do I care that prospective/current employers know I drink beer and argue? Nope. But I do think about prospective/current employers reading the content of my blog posts, and I think others should think about that, too. So, to quote myself (which is freakin' weird...),

"if you're ready to stand behind the idea that whatever you say on your blog, you'd say to a prospective employer: then, absolutely...post on. My only concerns is that I shouldn't post something I don't want a prospective (or a current) employer to read. Because they might. And actually, we should be happy about that."


Blogger Kelly Sime said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:27 PM  
Blogger Degolar said...

Yes and no, Erica. I understand as a prospective employer you want to learn everything you can about a person and interviews often aren't too helpful. At the same time, people should be allowed to have personal lives. Just because something is in the public arena does not mean it is work related. If the person never names the organization or company, uses an alias, and/or does not in any way represent the organization through the blog, then what does it really matter? All that should factor into a supervisor's thoughts about an employee's job performance is his or her job performance, no matter how much of a jackass he or she is the rest of the time. People tend to be judgmental and it's hard to separate a role from what we know of the whole person, but that's what's right and is what the supervisor should strive for.

10:12 AM  
Blogger Erica Reynolds said...

Yep, people should have personal lives. And yep, life is way, way more than employment, but blogging isn't life either. And once you do blog about your personal life, it's no longer personal.

Degolar, you're right that if a person never names the org and doesn't in any way refer to/represent the organization or the work, or use their real name, there's probably not a problem. But in that case, I don't think there is an issue. I do think there is an issue when people do in fact name the organization or use their real name or post about work issues when they post something online they wouldn’t say to someone face-to-face. Because the thing is, they probably will find it—sometimes even when they’re not looking for it.

What I blog may well be read by current/potential employers or colleagues, and once I post it, it’s out there regardless of context, time, changed opinions, etc…and I have to accept that.

We’re librarians. We have to know the implications of posting online, and we have a responsibility to educate our patrons (particularly our younger patrons) about the implications of posting online, too.

Can I wear whatever I want to a job interview? Yep. But when I show up in jammies and flip-flops, they don’t have to hire me, either. Can I post on whatever I feel like? Absolutely. Should I? I don’t think so, but that's me. Post on whatever you want, but know the potential impact.

7:55 PM  

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