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Blogging and Your Job.
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Mac Elite
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Jun 22, 2005, 07:50 PM

Some selected excerpts:

Delta Air Lines, Google and other major companies are firing and disciplining employees for what they say about work on their blogs, which are personal sites that often contain a mix of frank commentary, freewheeling opinions and journaling.
It's one thing to blog on company time and to talk about trade secrets...

A number of employment lawyers, such as Hift, and bloggers, such as Whitney, are urging companies to enact guidelines and communicate blogging rules to employees. Some companies are doing just that: In May, IBM unveiled blogging guidelines for its 329,000 employees. The guidelines state that employees should identify themselves (and, when relevant, their roles at IBM) when blogging about IBM.

"You must make it clear that you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of IBM," the guidelines state. They also say bloggers should not use "ethnic slurs, personal insults, obscenity, etc." and that they should "show proper consideration" for "topics that may be considered objectionable or inflammatory - such as politics and religion."
You mean you can't express your feelings on your own time anymore without pissing off your employer?

A Society for Human Resource Management survey found that some employers also are looking at job candidates' personal blogs before hiring them.
What the hell does a blog have to do with someone's qualifications to do the job they've applied for?

Posting Junkie
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Jun 22, 2005, 08:07 PM
Originally Posted by alphasubzero949
You mean you can't express your feelings on your own time anymore without pissing off your employer?
You can't if you don't make it clear that they are your feelings. Most companies are incredibly paranoid, and rightly so, about their image. Image is everything in today's market, when it's good it sells your product, when it's bad it can destroy your company.

Take a look at just about any marketing campaign in the past few decades. They're all about image, brand building, convincing people that they want your product because of what it represents not because of what it does or how well it does it.

Modern marketing is the direct descendent of propaganda. The PR industry was invented by the same man who was responsible for America's wildly successful propaganda campaigns during WWII, and it uses the same theories and ideas to manipulate the opinions and behavior of the masses.

The key to a successful business is controlling your message. Part of doing that is (now) ensuring that any blogging employees do undermine your efforts.

(Guess what industry I work in. )

What the hell does a blog have to do with someone's qualifications to do the job they've applied for?
It gives an insight into the person's personality. It's like another form of interview. Do you really think that HR people don't Google your name when you apply for a job?
Mac Elite
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Jun 22, 2005, 08:36 PM
i knew this would be coming. in fact, i wouldn't be surprised if companies that conduct background checks supplemented their findings with a quick google search to see if they find anything additional about the applicant.

i just started working for a consulting firm and the offer letter basically stated that among several things, i was prohibted from divulging any company trade secrets as well as prohibted from directly being employed by a client for whom we have a business relationship with for a period of x months from the date of termination--might be 6 months or a year.

but i still intend on blogging about my general experiences as a consultant. i think it would definitely be inappropriate to start blogging about business matters with a great deal of specificity and detail. i think the general rule of thumb is that if one feels even slightly uncomfortable about what they're going to write about, they shouldn't.

i'll be travelling a lot for work and i intend on writing about each engagement we go to. but i certainly won't get into the nitty gritty of each event such as listing the client we're working for and what exactly it is we're doing for them. that just wouldn't be right.

but i do agree though, a line has got to be drawn somewhere.

but who's to say that you're required to put your name on the blog? i'm sure there's tons of people who give detailed accounts of what they do anonymously. these would be much more difficult to find.
F = ma
Fresh-Faced Recruit
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Jun 23, 2005, 01:38 AM
Image today is everything...companies have to take measure to protect one of their most valuable assests...their brand.

Employees can unintentionally harm that image. If they identify themselves and say that their opinions are their own, then it is much easier for the company to implement damage control if the employee posts something harmful to their image.
Mac Elite
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Jun 23, 2005, 08:02 AM
The terrific amount of personal freedom we enjoy in this country is all too often confused with hiring/firing practices of private companies.

If you are an 'at will' employee (i.e. no contract) your company can fire you for almost any reason, so long as it is not about race, age, or gender.
Mac Elite
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Jun 23, 2005, 09:16 AM
Hey, I'm at work now. The Lounge is everyone's blog and my job ****ing sucks! It's ran by a bunch of retarded toss-pots that pay me peanuts to post crap on the internet.

Oh and they're **** ***** **** **** the **** ***** yellow **** *** sun don't shine!

I wish they'd fire me.

Addicted to MacNN
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Jun 23, 2005, 04:17 PM
I can’t believe people are actually surprised.

Somehow people have the inherent ability to know they couldn’t just publish a column in the local paper (that’s only read in a small area) and openly reveal company information without it reflecting badly on their employment, yet they somehow think ‘teh Internet’ (which can deliver the same message worldwide) is some protected private soapbox when one can openly publish anything, without consequence.

Where does this idea come from??

Yeah, believe it or not, it’s not the greatest idea to reveal company information on a non-anonymous blog.

As for non-company related information, it’s not that hard to figure out that if you’re naming the company you work for (thereby making that company’s name searchable on your site) that you’re an idiot if you simultaneously reveal all sorts of questionable ethnic slurs, beliefs, religious/political views, etc, that the company doesn’t necessarily want to be associated with.

Yes Virginia, future potential employers WILL take into consideration hiring someone who can’t seem to keep their mouth shut in ways that could embarrass them, and that somehow think no one else on the planet can use Google to look them up. “Great! We want this person on our team! He’s badmouthing his former employers, hates this ethnic group and that, is a satan worshiper… gee! Can’t wait to get this person onboard! Make sure he has a position at the highest security clearance level!”

If you simply have to blab online about your company, or reveal things you probably wouldn’t put on your resume, why not just keep an anonymous blog? To be stupid enough to do so publicly, and then wonder why it may be held against you later, either at a current job, or at a prospective one, is just braindead.
Professional Poster
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Jun 23, 2005, 04:35 PM
Blogging has never adversely affected my job, though its effected my personal life a lot.

For a serious good laugh, just read the comments on this post and the next one or two. Never scorn an English major, or her friends, because they're just to damn good at writing stupidly big words.

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