Thursday, September 02, 2004

Live By The Blog, Die By The Blog

Joyce Park wrote this very interesting essay last year about how blogs need to make a leap into a new level of public/private posting. She starts off with these hypothetical situations
* Alice is the HR director of a small startup company. During a job search, she receives a resume from a highly qualified programmer -- whom she immediately looks up using a search engine. On the candidate's weblog, Alice discovers something that makes her think this person might cause problems for the company down the line: perhaps a chronic illness, recreational drug use, an employment lawsuit, or just an unprofessional moment. She chooses not to pass on the resume to the hiring manager.

* Bob is an MBA candidate and dot-com refugee who is writing a paper about the experience of working for a very young CEO. He would like to solicit the informed opinions of his circle of professional acquaintances on this topic, ideally even get a round-robin conversation going. A weblog-type page with comments would be by far the easiest technical means to accomplish this. However, Bob discovers that his informants are not willing to express themselves freely about this topic in a public forum – even one with security-through-obscurity and robots.txt files. He decides he must rely on the much more time-consuming face-to-face interview to get the information he wants.

* Carol and Dave start dating. Carol is not aware until too late that Dave maintains a weblog which describes his relationships with women, mostly in unflattering terms. When she discovers that he has revealed intimate details of their dates, and even posted a photograph of her without her consent, she sues him. A judge decides that she has suffered harm to her professional reputation, and forces Dave to take down the relevant portions of his weblog as well as compensate Carol for damages.

She knows a LOT about the perils of public blogging now. She was fired this week from Friendster for blogging.

Like David
, I'm taking my profile down from Friendster. It looks like they fired her for telling the truth, although I don't know all the details yet.

I've found LINKEDIN way more useful and enjoyed pushing it to the max in August, getting a lot more use out of LINKEDIN and meeting a lot of great new Linkees.