I have given several press interviews in recent days, all more or less along the same lines: someone’s been assigned to write a story about people being fired for blogging. Recent pieces from AP and CNET are pushing this spin, going on and on and on about the risks. Except for, it’s all a bunch of BS. For most people, blogging is a career-booster, both in your current job and when you’re looking for your next one. This fragment includes, among other things, Ten Reasons Why Blogging Is Good For Your Career.
Assumptions · Let’s assume that you’re reasonably competent, reasonably coherent, and reasonably mature. Cynicism aside, a substantial majority of the people in the workplace qualify.
Blogging clearly isn’t going to help that proportion of people who aren’t really up to their job, or who are prone to inarticulate flaming, or both. But then, those people tend to have career problems anyhow. Put it another way: not blogging won’t protect you from career-limiting moves, and if blogging provokes one, well, you were probably going to do it anyhow.
Ten Reasons Why Blogging is Good For Your Career ·
You have to get noticed to get promoted.
You have to get noticed to get hired.
It really impresses people when you say “Oh, I’ve written about that, just google for XXX and I’m on the top page” or “Oh, just google my name.”
No matter how great you are, your career depends on communicating. The way to get better at anything, including communication, is by practicing. Blogging is good practice.
Bloggers are better-informed than non-bloggers. Knowing more is a career advantage.
Knowing more also means you’re more likely to hear about interesting jobs coming open.
Networking is good for your career. Blogging is a good way to meet people.
If you’re an engineer, blogging puts you in intimate contact with a worse-is-better 80/20 success story. Understanding this mode of technology adoption can only help you.
If you’re in marketing, you’ll need to understand how its rules are changing as a result of the current whirlwind, which nobody does, but bloggers are at least somewhat less baffled.
It’s a lot harder to fire someone who has a public voice, because it will be noticed.
Policy · I’ve written about Sun’s Policy and how we got it. I’ve repeated to every journo—and most of them have picked this up—that now, almost a year later, I’m increasingly convinced that it’s a good idea to let your employees blog, and if you’re doing that, a real good idea to write a policy. Because there are a lot of things you can say in a policy that will genuinely be helpful to your people.
And, not having one suggests you don’t care about doing a good job.
Why? · Uh, why is the mainstream press so incredibly interested in this people-fired-for-blogging story? Is this happening to a lot of people? No. Are a lot of people blogging? Yes. Has it happened to anyone senior enough to impact the company involved? No. Are senior people blogging? Yes.
If I were cynical and paranoid, I’d suspect that the media running these stories were frightened of something.