I've Been Admitted to Law School. The Question is...Can I Survive?

Narkoleptomania

Saturday, February 12, 2005

There has been a lot of dialogue about Mark Jen being fired from Google for blogging (99zeros.blogspot.com) so I thought I’d throw in my 2c. I’m definitely shocked at the fact that Google of all places had such a knee jerk reaction and fired him 11 days after he got hired and started blogging. I also sympathise with Mark for losing his job. I’m going to miss the updates because I found the look into Google interesting – but this isn’t about me...

Having said that I can’t say I’m entirely surprised that so many people are getting fired because of their blogging. In many cases there are several written and unwritten rules about what employees of a company are free to discuss. Salary and the intricacies of some benefits are definitely off limits. Many places telling a co-worker what you earn or asking what he earns is grounds for being automatically fired. Unsurprisingly, then discussing the intricacies of a firm’s policies, financial projections etc. on the internet is I am sure, somewhere in the unwritten rules if they haven’t got around to writing them down yet. I’m thinking really…if you’re going to blog about the people who pay you, keep it on the low. Blog anonymously. I mean, it’s OK to bitch about your family online cause they can’t fire you and short of divorcing you (see talent-less, rich people like Aaron Carter – and nobody wants to be like them) they’re stuck with you. If you’re doing to bitch about the people who can actually get rid of you…that’s going to be a problem in the making.

Let’s face it, if you’re saying negative things about your company for everybody to see, they won’t like it and the best thing for them is to get rid of you. If they fire you now, after a couple weeks when everybody stops being indignant they’ll move on, bit if you’re still there spewing the bad stuff, it lives forever…especially in Google’s cache – which I might say Jen’s blog is mysteriously absent from.

As people have been hypothesizing that 2005 will be the year of the blog and I think companies need to establish blogging policies because this problem is only going to get bigger. I, for one, am a fan of the anonymity of the internet (bet you didn’t know my name really wasn’t Narkoleptik!) but some people are comfortable with the whole world knowing who they are and that unfortunately means their real lives will have some serious repercussions. Wow, how’s that for stating the obvious?!

Edit: Here's some stuff similar to what I said.