The inevitable collision of personal blogs and the professional workplace stands as a relatively recent case in point. We have witnessed some fairly spectacular blog-related firings in recent months. Indeed, hardly a week goes by now that we don't hear of another bloger running afoul of the big bosses at work. Here's quick rundown of the higher-profile ones:
- Ellen Simonetti, ex-Delta flight attendant - her blog, her story.
- Michael Hanscom, ex-Microsoftie - his blog, his story.
- Jessica Cutler, ex-Capitol Hill Geisha Girl - her blog, her story.
I'm saving any juicy bits for my book, anyway (to wit, I'm dissecting my life at previous-employer Mother Corp. for a future authorly project. Names and some details are being changed to keep me from being sued, but anyone I used to work with will instantly be able to guess the object of my disaffection. Think Scott Adams/Dilbert in literary form and you're not far off. It's great fun!)
The Washington Post ran this story last week on the unfortunate Rachel Mosteller, whose anonymous rants about her newsroom resulted in her being shown the door. No offense to her (OK, I lie, maybe just a little offense is intended here), but you figure she and others would learn that there is no real anonymity when you go online. IP addresses are easily traced, and pseudonyms don't stay hidden for long. As stark as these realities of online life may be, it's a virtual certainty that many will fail to learn them. Consequently, Ms. Mosteller won't be the last. We all think we're immune, I guess.
Word to the yet-to-become-wise: absorb everything that goes on in your current organization, but don't post it to a publicly-accessible resource that is even remotely connected to the Internet. After you've had a chance to voluntarily find another source of income, feel free to go for the jugular by putting pen to paper and sending the results as far around the world as you please.
Key issue here: quit first, then write. Like most things in this brave new world, survival has everything to do with process and precious little to do with technology.
Okay, I've ranted. Your turn.