Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Fire that blogger!

Should we be allowed to blog about work?

Jeremy Blachman* thinks so, and he's written a guest op-ed piece in the New York Times (requires registration) saying so. I can't say that his argument is especially compelling but I do think that it's right, particularly in cases where you're not really writing harmful, hurtful things about the company you work for and the people you work with.

I don't blog primarily about work (I don't blog primarily about anything), and I don't think my company should be able to fire me if they find out I have a blog and if I occasionally write about the things that happen at work. Interesting things happen here and in the things I do. I blogged about my colleagues' reactions to the 7/7 and 21/7 terrorist incidents, I've blogged about my under-par performance at talk I gave, I've blogged snippets of conversations I've had with co-workers. (Sadly most of them on a previous blog site).

Fortunately for me, under UK employment law I think they'd have a tough time getting rid of me regardless.

Part of the reason I blog anonymously I so that I can do such things and also because I work in a political environment. I sometimes have opinions which differ greatly or in detail with the policies that I work to promote. Also, I know that many, many of my co-workers and client group will have views that differ from my personal views (I'm quite right wing by UK standards). My name is unusual and I'm reasonably well known amongst a small set of specialists. If you searched on my name, you'd find links to my employers straight away, and my views are mine and not my employer's. I don't want this blog to create a distraction from what I'm trying to do in my professional life.

Interestingly, I've learned a lot in the short time that I've been blogging that will help me with the work I do. I'm thinking about setting up a team blog under my real name for work, and I think it will be really beneficial.

Anyway, food for thought.

*You can also find his stuff at: Jeremy's Blog and his fictional Anonymous Lawyer blog.

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