Blogging can cause you troubles in your offline life if you aren’t careful. My previous post went into some social fallout that is still affecting me from when a frustrated blog post elsewhere got misinterpreted, and now there are a couple friends that I may never get back. That post itself, though, veers dangerously close to the personal. There was also the frustrated outpourings during my recent period of unemployment – my digital cries of pain in response to the kick in the balls that the year 2008 has been. These also got me some trouble. I suspect, though can’t say for sure, that they may have hurt my employment chances at some places. They were kind of embarrassing.

It’s old hat to say so now, but things like blogging are changing the way people socialize, and I think that people are still going through some growing pains with it. It’s hard to decide, in the moment of writing, what you should or shouldn’t say. Everyone has different comfort levels about what is publicly said/written about themselves, by themselves or others. A big part of the change from the “old media” to “social media” is that anybody is the media now. This is great, on one level, because there is this wide diversity of ideas and opinion out there. But on the other hand, there’s the fact that now anyone you know or meet might be writing about what you’re doing or saying. Their audience may not be as large as “real” journalists, but at least with them you know they’re journalists, you expect them to write about anything you say to them – to the degree that it became customary to signal when you wanted something to remain personal between you and a journalist with the phrase “off the record.” But now that literally anyone might write about you, nothing is clearly “off the record” anymore.

So anyway, I’d never heard of Internet celebrity Emily Gould before, and Gawker has been at the edge of my radar at best, but I sympathized a lot with this – I think I’ve experienced some of these same kinds of things, albeit on a much smaller scale. It got me thinking about these issues, and about what kind of rules-of-thumb I might be well advised to develop about what I write here. I do like having an outlet for my opinions and feelings, even some of the more inflammatory ones – but at the same time, I don’t want to wreck my career, nor do I want this to end up being one of those annoying whiny personal blogs where people act like their problems are so special and catastrophic. Neither, however, do I want it to end up just being all technical and boring.

Any advice or discussion in the form of comments would be helpful.

Charlie Schiz

Charlie Schiz
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. I've been weird all my life. It's my time to shine.

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