This post started out as something very different … many months ago. In fact, the original post still sits in my ‘draft’ list … but will never be posted.
Most of those who know me well understand that I have a lot of opinions (who doesn’t) … and I’m sometimes not afraid to express them.
The original blog post started out as a discussion of religion, politics, and how my views differed drastically from those of my co-workers, friends, and colleagues in the IBM i industry.
But, as I started to write the post (which, I might add, had an incredibly clever title that Ginny helped me come up with), I realized that the content of the post would probably offend a lot of people that I have to work with on a day to day basis, and others that I interact with quite frequently.
What is said on the internet, stays on the internet … forever
– Unknown (but I doubt I came up with it)
Not everyone I know reads my blogs (either my IMHO blog or this one) … but many of them do (either the full post or snippets that show up on Facebook).
When people read the post, some would agree with me 100%, others would immediately identify themselves in it, and probably get annoyed with me (if not down right angry at me).
So I was faced with a dilemma … publish the post and risk getting people annoyed at me … or quash it and blog about less inflammatory topics.
I decided to go the safe (and/or easy) route … the post is still sitting in the ‘drafts’ section of WordPress … and will probably be deleted (although not before being copied to a text file).
Some might call me a coward … but I don’t blog behind a curtain of anonymity. So I would have to deal with the consequences of the post. And calling people stupid or weak minded is not the best way to maintain a good working relationship.
My rule of thumb: Whenever you publish to the internet … assume everyone and anyone will see it forever.
I agree with this post David. We have to really be careful what we “blog about” because once it’s uploaded on the internet, it’s out on public and can reach the end of the world.
Not to say that we can’t have our opinion, but as I blogger (I’ve been blogging since 2006) I know where this post is coming from. I used to blog a lot about my family, including the differences of opinion mu husband and I have about many things, but I am more careful now doing that – for the sake of my husband and family. Now I blog more about Maui – who do not want to read about the beauty of Maui? 🙂
I respect your opinions. You know my spiritual beliefs and I kinda know a little bit of yours from your postings – but we still respect each other and like each other – so that’s an example of how we can express our opinions on blog and not worry too much about what others would say.
OK, now I am rambling – thank God the name of your blog is geeky ramblings – ok to ramble then 😉
I’m in the same boat with both of you – caution is key and it’s not being a coward at all.
I’m one of those few knuckleheads that has their boss as a friend on Facebook, even though everyone tells you it’s not a good idea. The reasoning for me is two fold: (a) I’m pretty big on transparency, and (b) if I know in the back of my mind that my boss may be “watching” me, I’ll self police myself and keep the ranting and complaining to a minimum.
When it comes to things like office politics that you were referencing with people you interface with day-to-day, there’s more than enough of that already without fueling the fire via blogs as well. Similar to venting or ranting online, one of my previous mentors got me to stop doing it in email as well. Even though it’s not public facing, those trails have a way of getting forwarded at the worst of times.
I guess lastly, I’m one that always favors positive information online anyway, unless it’s an honest product or service review or something. It gets really old when I see posts and especially comments that just continuously bash and insult someone or something. I get the free speech debate, but just because you can doesn’t mean you have to. I see it a lot in forums and comments around technology (Engadget, Gizmodo, Mashable) and also in the sports world where fans get a little too heated with their rivals.
The Internet as a whole would be better off without much of that.
Just my two cents.
I know where you are coming from with this one David. I have experienced the same problems many times. Sometimes I can change the name and/or circumstances sufficiently to still make the point – but often it ends up on the cutting floor.
Funny thing is I often end up upsetting people anyway becuase they have misread (by accident or design) what I wrote and go off on their own little rant.
Of course most of my posts are done in conjunction with my lovely wife – so I also have the benefit of another set of eyes watching out for things I shouldn’t say.
The sad truth is that someone, somewhere will always use our words against us. Those of us who have to work for a living cannot afford to have work evaporate over a scandal manufactured by someone who may not even care about me personally. Just because I write something that tickles their ‘I hate that’ button.
I try to keep a boundary between my work life and my personal life. I’m acutely aware that what I blog, tweet or post as an employee represents my company. But I also want to have freedom to express my opinions and beliefs. To that end, I have business and personal fb pages and twitter accounts. I’m uncomfortable when the two cross over and I struggle with the inevitability of it. I want the wall but many social media experts state there is no wall. I feel very conflicted about that.