Occident Prone

Welcome to Australia’s wild West

Don’t be dooced

Posted by occidentprone on June 18, 2008

The blog vs work dilemma has been played out in a few famous cases around the world. Bloggers who’ve spewed bile about their workplace have had the good fortune of having the workplace pulled from beneath them.

Read about a hostie who was fired. The BBC analyses the issue. And here’s an Australian perspective on blogging at work.

But in little ol’ Western Australia, there’s been little discussion of blogging and the ethics and issues around it – particularly for those juggling a paying job and blogging, and even more particularly if the blogging has some topic crossover with the paying job.

So we’re doing an informal study of our own for a new page on blogging in WA. 

  • What’s your blogging vs work experience?
  • Do you have your own guidelines to make sure you don’t cross any lines and burn bridges?
  • Does your boss have a policy for bloggers?
  • Do law firms have concerns about being open to litigation after loose lips from a wordy solicitor?
  • Do media companies worry their employees are wasting words in the blogosphere when they could be churning out more copy at work?
  • Do public service bosses fear state secrets are being belched into cyberspace?
  • Do cubicle overlords fret workers will find a personality and a mind of their own through their online diary?
  • Is industrial espionage (sounds more exciting than it is, I suspect) an issue?

Email occident@iinet.net.au with your experience and thoughts and we’ll publish the results. Confidentiality assured of course.

Meanwhile, here’s advice from a careers expert.

Posting company news, pictures, and even making positive comments about a company have cost bloggers their jobs.

Wow, even posting good comments about the firm can get you the pink slip?

More good advice here. (I especially like the tip about blogging anonymously.)

PS Dooced is described as getting fired because of something that you wrote in your blog. 

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6 Responses to “Don’t be dooced”

  1. Rolly said

    One of the ways of overcoming, or at least minimising, the problem is to reduce your dependency on continuous paid employment.
    Too many of us take on debt that puts us at the mercy of the regular pay cheque.
    Too few of us think far enough ahead to realise that personal capital can be the means to telling the boss “OK, I don’t need your money”, and provide the means to take ones time hunting around for a better posting.
    Or to provide the basis of self employment.
    How to get the capital? Plug the leaks in the barrel.
    Most of us are quietly haemorrhaging our personal wealth in small, seemingly insignificant amounts: the extra beer here, coffee there, a new car instead of a good recent used model at half the price, too large houses that require extra maintainance, heating/cooling, lighting and above all extra rates and taxes, etc. etc.
    Part of the problem is, of course, our propensity to choose style over substance.
    Very few of the self-made financial successes created their initial capital by being flamboyant: That came later when a sound wealth foundation had been established.
    And most of them gained a reputation for being as tight as…
    It’s really not necessary to go to extremes to reduce the gradual seepage of our futures into the personal fortunes of those who enjoy extracting as much from our wallets as is commercially possible and legally permissible.
    But we do have to take control; of our finances, and of our living habits, and we do have to take responsibility for ourselves, our families and our communities.
    You can’t do that by allowing yourself to simply be grist to the commercial/economic mill.
    Read “Your Money or Your Life” by Joe Dominguez. It is a decade old now but the principles are more than ever valid.
    Another good one is “The Millionaire Next Door” By Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Banks.
    All just simple logic really.

  2. Kace said

    Hmmmmm, good advice Rolly… certainly wish I had the financial freedom to tell my boss to stick it at the moment!
    Can they really sack you for any kind of crossover??? What if you never mention your work on your blog? Surely if you’re not blogging at work you have the freedom to write what you want?? Very blurry lines to me.

  3. occidentprone said

    I’m guessing the number one rule would be don’t blog at work, from your work computer. It’s hard when you’ve spent hours posting great posts, and commenting and checking stats and moderating comments to then leave it alone for eight hours. But even if you don’t diss the boss, blogging at work would have to be the top faux pas, no?

  4. MJ said

    I know a big company that has no policy, and no discussion about it as far as I know – very surprising.

  5. Kace said

    Really? Which big company MJ?

  6. MJ said

    Well I don’t want to lose my job do I?

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