Monday, August 01, 2005

Working for trAce - the Blogger's dilemma

You might be wonder at the long gap between posts. Well I have a new job at the trAce Online Writing Centre. This job is certainly keeping me busy but it is also presenting me with a number of blogging issues - namely - What should I blog? What should I keep quiet about?

There are many things that happen in this job which are interesting but they tend to be in the public domain anyway. There are many things in this job that are utterly dull and not worth writing about. The juicy stuff comes from the personal observations (which I think are the life-blood of a good blog). However, I feel that I can't put these observations into the public domain because at the moment they will impact on the project I am currently working on.

I am torn between expression and earning a living!

These kinds of challenges are not new to the blogosphere, of course. Heather Armstrong at Dooce got sacked for making personal comments about her work place ( adding the verb to be 'Dooced' to the bloggers lexicon). It is, however, an interesting challenge for the advocates of free speech. The Electronic Freedom Foundation )( those oh-so-wacky freedom kids) have quite a bit to say on the subject. On their EFF: Fighting for Bloggers' Rights page they have all sorts of useful hints...Including the very obvious point that:-

anyone can eventually find your blog if your real identity is tied to it in some way. And there may be consequences.

They suggest that one should try and blog anonymously. I blew that option right out of the water from the start as I have my name to be attached this blog. They then recognize that certain subjects are protected. If you are a US blogger you might like to know that you can make a case for discussing - Political Opinions - Unionising - Whistleblowing - Reporting on Your Work for the Government
and - Legal Off-Duty Activities.

The EFF approach tends to suggest that it is ones employer that a blogger should worry about. I also worry about my fellow employees and contractors and sub-contractors. I care what my family and friends think of me.

The deal that I have struck with myself is that I will eventually blog things that I think are newsworthy. I will hold them back (if necessary) to ensure that they do not cause too much trouble.

I really do not have an urge to name and shame the people I work with. Similarly, I do not have an urge to out myself as a couch potato ( oops!). Somethings can stay private!

Does this make me a woose?

Am I a bad blogger?


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