Bloggers need not apply, redux

Nice follow-up to the Tribble article -- The New York Times' "Career Couch" features Write All About It (at Your Own Risk). Bloggers just can't get a break (emphasis mine):

Q. You've embraced the daily catharsis of blogging, but given the recent spate of blog-sparked workplace controversies, you're worried that posts about work may jeopardize your job. How can you pontificate about your career in a manner that doesn't end with an unemployment check?

A. The safest way to approach blogging about work may be not to do it at all, said Nancy Flynn, executive director of the ePolicy Institute, a training and consulting firm in Columbus, Ohio.

"Blogging is such a subjective form of expression," Ms. Flynn said. "What you think is a silly little comment could get broadcast into cyberspace, hurt the wrong person's feelings and put you at risk of reprimand or something worse."

[. . .]

Q. What about seemingly harmless musings?

A. Posts about everyday issues like cubicle cohabitation or communal office refrigerators should not cause much trouble. Sometimes, however, it does not matter what you write - the mere act of opening up could cost you a job.

[. . .]

Q. What about blogging anonymously?

A. If your employer can prove that you wrote critical posts, it may be able to dismiss you.

[. . .]

Q. What if you don't use your blog to discuss work?

A. Keeping work issues off your personal blog does not mean that your employer won't hold the blog against you. "It doesn't matter if you blog about skydiving or pornography," said Daniel M. Klein, a partner at the Atlanta law firm Buckley & Klein. "If your employer feels the blog makes you a poor representative of their corporate values, the executives have the freedom to disassociate themselves from you."

Laws prevent employers from acting against employees on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, age, religion or disability - and, in some places, sexual orientation. Many workers have few other protections, employment lawyers said.

I don't know what to say; I can only sputter something containing the words "free speech, technically, I guess." Unbelievable.


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Opening up

Working Blue

Seems like this is an interesting area for the kind of speculations I'm trying to do: Just opening up can cause trouble. This was part of Tribble's gripe, too, it seems. The act of being "emotional" or "open" (whatever that means) is making some people nervous. It's especially interesting where professionalism and academics is concerned. Hmm. I need to muse on these things further.

Does this mean they don't want to see the contents of my fridge?

Too bad.

(Was in a silly mood last night.)

It's a shame really. Just jud

It's a shame really. Just judging from the number of people who choose to blog pseudonomously, it's obviously a high concern and fear for many people as it is. Your post above about what kidn of blogger you are and your comments about keeping personal and private life quite separate from the professional thoughts on your blog, since you write under your actual name, is another example. It seems that with so many people already concerned about getting screwed professoinally because of what they write, the last thing we need is people like that getting everybody even more freakin' paranoid. The world is politically correct and bland enough for me as it is.


PS I didn't mean to imply tha

PS I didn't mean to imply that your choice to not write often about personal issues was because you have fears of gettign screwed professionally; just that for a variety of reasons, people already often limit what they discuss on their blogs.


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