Friday, February 11, 2005

It's not what you do, it's what you say

The Washington Post had a good article about bloggers getting fired. I have to admit, these days I'm thinking a lot more about what I blog. The self-censorship has now extended beyond personally identifying details to who I talk about, what I talk about, and occasionally I write posts and then delete them thinking, "This is going to get me in TROUBLE."

This is a far cry from when I first started online. I started this website either late 1997 or early 1998 on my university's server. I was SO excited that I told everyone about this website. I didn't even care that people knew I wrote stories about Star Trek characters. When I started my first job, I told co-workers about the website and gave them the link (the former Geocities location for this site); heck, when I got awesome FB on ASC, I even told one of my co-workers about it and showed her the actual post. I even blogged about that job here, though I never did mention the company by name (being on the tech side for a while, I knew that the company had spiders out looking for illegal mentions of their name online). Obviously, times have changed and discretion is the way to go.

These days, I keep my web activities strictly to myself. At Very Big Publishing Company, only S -- who I've been friends with for many years now -- and a fellow fangirl knew about this site. At the current job, I haven't said a word there either and I'm not likely too. I'm not sure there is anything in this blog I could be fired for -- I'm not mentioning my companies by name or co-workers -- and I certainly don't give away secrets or other identifying information and I don't have any plans to blog about the job or the people. However, people are starting to get fired for content in their blogs that isn't directly related to their jobs. So then I wonder about the content here and I think, "Okay, there's nothing here my mom won't approve of" (Hi Mom!) but still... I can't help but feel a little uneasy.

I don't think I'm going to make any changes to this blog, not for the time being. I think the best policy is continue as I have been -- keep the content about current events and silly personal stories -- and keep the workplace strictly out of it. There's just a question of how far self-censorship goes; I think bloggers do need to take responsibility for what they post, but I also think there needs to be guidelines somewhere on what's acceptable and what's not.

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