Monday, July 11, 2005

Don't Tell Me Not To Blog, Bucco.

Five days a week, eight hours a day, I can be found sitting in little cubicle #4, generally bored out of my mind. To break up the monotony, I usually wander the internet aimlessly and often find some interesting stuff. Today, I came across this article from Chronicle Careers. I found it both thought provoking and annoying. But mostly annoying.

The article talks about the influence job applicants' blogs played in the selection process, and concludes with a very strong "Don't Blog if you want a job" push. Eww.

Now, I understand one of the main points of the article and wholeheartedly agree. People who use blogs as personal diaries, publishing all of their neuroses to anyone and everyone who want to read it, are just asking for trouble. Employers certainly have a right to read applicants' blogs, and to judge the person for their dabblings in internet publishing. So if you use your blog as a forum to discuss your craziness, good luck!

I've never quite understood the whole concept of blogs as online (i.e. public) diaries. I have a warm spot in my heart for actual hand written (what?! People still use pen and paper? gasp !), personal journals. Maybe I'm just a romantic, or old fashioned, but I prefer them. It may also have something to do with my love of notebooks. I have no idea why, but even if I have no use for them, I like having nice notebooks.

My preference isn't entirely for privacy reasons, either. There are no locks on any of my journals (I have lots of them, even though none are full. Like I said, notebook weakness). If people ask me to read them--and actually a pretty decent amount have--I have no objections. But, there is a huge difference between acquaintances being able to access my thoughts and publishing them for anybody and everybody to read. I just don't see the need for that. There's also the fact that I doubt anyone would care. I have had both livejournal and xanga accounts before due to the urgings of friends, but I almost never updated them (as you can see). Mostly because I didn't like the whole concept behind them. I actually update this, though, because I like using blogs for discussing ideas and prodiving information, instead of just being a place where I can tell you all about my latest gossip.

Of course, I can't sit here and say that this blog is entirely impersonal. Most things I write about are related in some way to my life and things I'm going through. And of course, everything written here contains my opinions (directly or indirectly). But, this is by no means my online diary.

While I agree with the idea that people who publish diaries online are just asking for trouble, I completely disagree with the article's argument that all blogging is harmful to bloggers' future employment and otherwise. Yes, bloggers publish raw, unedited opinions for everyone to see. Yes, anyone can read these opinions and make their own judgements about the person and the ideas expressed there. But how is this any different from sitting down and having an intellectual discussion or argument with this person? If anything, employers should encourage people to submit blogs of this type. It gives you an insight into the interests, thoughts, and personality of a person. Certainly more so than stuffy, uptight resumés and interviews. Yes, in the end, what the employers learn about the person via their blog may end up being the reason they aren't hired. But, can this not go both ways? Even though it will cause rejections, if they are based on a better understanding of who the applicants are, perhaps it would facilitate better hiring decisions.

I'm not about to shut up just because I aspire to live in something more comfortable than a box. Future employers: Read what I write and like it or don't. I see no reason to censor myself because people might happen to use it later to learn more about me.


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