I’ve read a number of articles in the past few months about people getting fired for things that they wrote in their blogs.
Though I’m inclined to think that people shouldn’t be fired for what they write about, I’ve read some of the things that people got fired for. Some of them are not particularly bright.
Personally, I’ve always come at blogging assuming that anyone I know could type in my name and come up with my blog. Even beyond deliberately trying to find me, it’s possible for people I know to find me unintentionally. My wife once told me that someone we know (but not all that well) at church had asked her if I had a blog. I don’t know how she found it. Another person from church was doing research on local political blogs and came across mine in the process. My blog isn’t all that political, but he found it nonetheless.
In short, I tend to assume that there are no safe spaces online.
Thus I don’t blog about work or people at work. If I do mention work, I mention specific tasks I’m working on or something complimentary. I don’t mention names and I don’t make nasty comments about anyone other than myself.
I also don’t make a point of writing about my faults. I’m sure it’s possible to pick up on a few of them indirectly, but I don’t mention any that I don’t want a current or future employer to read.
I’m not sure why I come at blogging from this particular angle. Part of it, I’m sure, comes from working for non-profit organizations and having to constantly ask what someone will think about finding this on our website.
Part of it comes out of years of writing and writing classes. I constantly imagine who the audience for what I’m writing might be.
In the end, the reason I do it may largely turn out to be personality. When I have time to reflect on something, I almost always end up analyzing the probable results of what I’m doing. Sometimes this results in my being slower about things than I want to be. Hopefully it also allows me to avoid certain errors.