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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Blogging Policy

Recently, several of my favorite bloggers have quit--or disappeared completely--from the blogosphere. Dr. Flea, Fat Doctor, Miss Snark, among others. (No point in giving you links to the first two. Dr. Flea's blog has completely disappeared and Fat Doctor's is by invitation only.)

Miss Snark said she is quitting because she is "done." She's answered all the questions she wants to answer and she's just done. That, I understand. (Speaking of which, I have about 10 questions in my queue and I swear I will get to them. I swear! First I have to finish shoveling mulch. I hate mulching.)

Dr. Flea was in the midst (apparently) of a malpractice suit and I bet his lawyer found out about his blog and said, "you better take that darn thing down right now!"

But, Fat Doctor (and several other medical bloggers) were "outed" by co-workers. Dr. J makes a comment on Dr. Couz's blog about Dr. Flea:
It's an interesting situation, and in some ways makes me glad that my blog has always been non-anonymous. I don't think there's anything wrong with anon. blogs, but having my picture at the top of my blog for all to see has certainly curtailed any prediliction I might have to rant, and has forced my blog in other (I hope interesting) directions.

From time to time I do see things in the medical blogs that make me wonder about maintainance of confidentiality, but overall I think that most people's blogs are thoughtful and sensitive. It's troubling that they seem to be an endangered species....

This is something I think about. I blog anonymously--theoretically. If you suspected Evil HR Lady was actually, well, me, it would be pretty easy to confirm. I've left enough clues, as well as pictures of the backs (and casts) of various family members. So, why am I anonymous?

I work for a large company. They don't have a clear blogging policy. They do have a policy that the only people that can speak for the company are the Public Relations people. I agree with this policy, by the way. I don't speak for my company. I am not their representative and I certainly don't know the ins and outs of what is going on in the business as a whole. I understand my role very well, but I know my limits.

But, should I keep my real name out of the fray? I could certainly blog under my name without mentioning the company I work for. That would keep me from breaking the Public Relations only rule. But, I don't.

Does this inhibit me or make me more free? I don't know. Most of my fellow HR bloggers do so under their (presumably) real names. They talk about stories from work. Does it keep them more honest, knowing that the person they are talking about could easily find them? For instance, Lisa writes about interactions with her union leaders. She speaks very positively in this post. Does her knowledge that he could find this post make her think about every word she writes?

I admit, when I wrote this post about an interaction with my boss, I thought, "good thing I'm anonymous!"

But, like my friends, the med bloggers, I could be exposed. A couple of people at work know about my blog. So, I've thought about this post and decided, even if I had my name on it, I'd say the same thing. I believe in what I wrote. I even had a disclaimer about making myself sound better than I did in the actual meeting.

But, I'm still anonymous and intend to stay that way for the time being. If I'm outed, though, I won't stop blogging. I'll just blog about the jerks who outed me. (Just kidding! I love everyone who takes the time to read this blog. Big hugs all around!)

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Big hug back--From an anonymous reader.

Evil HR Lady said...

Oh excellent! Thanks for the warm fuzzies.

she said: said...

There are pluses and minuses to blogging anon.

I think the biggest anon feature is not so much having your co-workers find out,(like you said, you probably wouldn't change much in your writing) it is keeping a healthy distantance from netkooks.

Those people that are a little off, and become grudges against your blog.

I remember you having a guy that was a little feaky here once. Sometimes it's just a pet peeve issue for some netkooks. Nothing to do with the blogger directly. But it is nice still to make sure they don't get too close.

Patrick Williams said...

I believe that anon or not, we should all adopt the "if you wouldn't say it to their face..." rule. If you state an opinion about a policy, culture or person, you had better be prepared to back it up... possibly with your job on the line! Ah, aint the this little game we play FUN???!

Evil HR Lady said...

She said--Ah yes, the HR is full of liars and you are communist guy. I wonder where he went.

Patrick--I agree. That should always be the rule. Make sure you believe in what you say.

Lisa said...

Let me think about that. I started anonymous and then changed. Now you have my wheels turning you Evil one!

Evil HR Lady said...

Lisa--that's why I'm evil! It's not just my penchant for shiny new employee handbooks and my desire for excessive paperwork!

Working Girl said...

Being anonymous gives you added credibility---we assume that you're saying stuff you couldn't say if you weren't anonymous. We feel we're getting special "insider information." So that by itself is a good reason to remain anon!

Evil HR Lady said...

Working girl--interesting point. I do try to give good "insider" information.

mightyredpen said...

Evil HR Lady, Here's what actually happened to Dr. Flea.

http://www.boston.com/yourlife/health/blog/2007/05/fleas_fall_1.html