Consequences of blogging

Boy, there’s been a ton of hub-bub on Microsoft canning this poor chap for effectively breaking his employment contract for posting a photo on his blog of a bunch of Mac G5s in a truck somewhere on campus. Funny thing is, I’ll bet if a software engineer (or product manager, or program manager, or anyone in a key development position) did the same thing, they probably would of just received a reprimand and stern warning, “don’t do that again!” It seemed kind of harmless to me given nothing about the company was revealed in the photo. Still was a silly thing to do.
That said, his recent post does point out that blogging does capture quite a bit about a person. I’m amazed by some of the things I see appear in blogs. Do folks realize that Google allows for incredibly easy research on a person?
I use my blog to capture my random meandering thoughts on technology. Seems harmless. It’s really a tool for me to keep track of ideas and the dialog that blogging offers is really neat. But I’m sure there’s some risk that opinions I state there might influence future employer not to hire me.

I figure if someone unknowingly asked me my opinion about anything that appears in my blog in an interview, I’d say the same. So, the loss in a future job would happen anyway as I would offend anyway. But what if those questions never come up in an interview? Simple research would most likely uncover it. If I lose the job in this case, I probably wouldn’t work for this employer either given (if they never uncovered my opinions) I’d eventually find out we don’t think alike and leave.

I hope incidents like this Microsoft example doesn’t keep people from expressing their opinions in blogs. There’s a risk in anything you say these days. Finding a balance on exactly what to share in a public forum is the trick. I try hard not to air my dirty laundry (in life or at work) on my blog. It’s tempting sometimes. But I don’t think it’s appropriate in a public forum. But that’s just me. If that’s not enough for a future employer, oh well.