Tuesday, July 12, 2005

blogging is a more dangerous hobby than fishing

Someone at work passed on to me an interesting article from Chronicle of Higher Education about how search committees now look at candidates' blogs as part of the hiring process. In most cases, the article says, blogging turns out to be a negative. It's a matter of "over sharing". Apparently the chances of finding out something good about a candidate from his or her blog are much lower than finding out something bad.

That makes perfect sense. I have been saying for awhile now that the next crop of politicians that come up will not have to worry about whether they inhaled or not... but rather what they wrote on the Web when they were young. Writers are not generally known for their discretion. Not those for whom writing is a nagging necessity.

Blogs are many things -- the point of the Chronicle article is that making your every thought available to the world at large is not that great an idea, when the world at large will be judging you in other arenas like the competitive world of employment. The Chronicle focuses on employment in the academic community, but the same holds true in any line of work. Blogging under a pseudonym begins to make more sense. Blogging is a hobby for most people. Generally speaking, one's prospective employers have to dig more than is feasible to find out about a prospective employee's hobbies, and what that employee is like when off the job and pursuing a hobby.

But blogging bleeds hobbies into professional life. A dangerous mix.

We have no constitutional amendments that cover fishing. But we do have one that covers expression of thought. Somehow, that factors into the equation also.

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