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Thursday, December 01, 2005

How Blogging May Be Harmful To Your Career

Blogging is one of the latest online crazes. Just about anyone with access as a basic knowledge of navigating a web browser can set one up in mere moments. I myself have two active blogs of my own (one for personal thoughts and expression, the other one being this one used for my personal business pursuits) and I manage a blog for my radio station crew in my day job.

But just because you can, doesn't mean you should, as spelled out in this article from Black Enterprise.com about how your right of self expression could be hurting your career.

Starting with the basics, a blog is slang for a Web log, which is a website with diary-like entries about anything that a person could thing of: personal life issues, hobbies, the progression of a project, and increasingly, the ins and outs of a company's dealing.

The line usually gets blurred when one takes their personal blog and starts to speak negatively about their work life or the company they work for. Under the myth of 'internet anonymity,' a person can get bold in just what they say, and not think about just who could be reading their exploits. These are still private citizens observing free speech and expression, but people easily find themselves stepping into grey areas of just what type of information about their profession and their professional lives should be out there for display to the general public.

Or they do something worse. They talk about a private or alternative lifestyle they lead, and link some of their exploits to their companies or professional organizations, possibly on purpose, that the more professional types would rather not have to associate with. This may not be fair, but it is what it is.

People are now having to deal with the consequences of a little internet fame. Many cases are occurring of firings and IT personnel are now finding themselves spending more time with the HR personnel as they add blogging policies to every growing list of no-no's for office computer systems.

Should you blog? If you have a passion for a subject, or just want to show your friends just how crazy your life is, then go for it. Check out you company handbook or a very understanding HR person and see if your company has a policy in place that covers what you can discuss about it, and if they have a specific blog policy. If you find you are in the clear, my suggestion is that you always take a half of second to consider digression, don't discuss negative or confidential information about your company or the products or services they provide. And never spend time on the clock updating info to your blog.

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