Electronic Personae (part 2)

My previous post attracted the following comment:
I've wondered about my work-related posts, since my RL identity's not well hidden (it's not mentioned in the blog, but it'd be easy enough to trace). In fact, I criticized TPTB in a post just yesterday; perhaps, with no tenure or guaranteed future employment, I am foolish to do it? OTOH, if I can't exercise a little polite free speech behind a pseudonym, what's the world come to?
Cam's described part of my problem exactly. If I were to rant and rage against MPOW's (in my eyes) misguided and stupid policies and actions, that would change the nature of the blog and open me up to problems at work (some of the people know I blog and one or two have the address, not to mention the fact that several of the readers here know my RL identity).

For example, yesterday I had a conversation with my direct boss, with whom I usually attend a conference. When we were at separate schools, it didn't matter what I said about school policy on technology - now, in front of him, it sort of does. So we talked a little about that, and he assured me that he doesn't expect me to shut up, just be a little tactful. I think I can manage that!

But wait! There's more...

Another friend runs a blog for POmpous and Opinionated People - they put together lists of the "best music" of the previous year, commenting madly on it and other things. He recently got a request from a former "POOPster", asking that the list this person had posted be removed. Why? Because they didn't want their thoughts/comments to be one of the things that prospective employers see when they Googled that name. That may be why I post as Lazygal: it doesn't attach to my name (which leads, if you know it and do a search on, to a lot of professional posts and articles).

(NOTE: For those of you that try, I'm not the Amazon reviewer, and I'm not the one that died sometime in the 1800s; there is a post from 1996 when I was doing my library internship!)

This is something that occasionally crops up on one of my e-lists, too. On a previous iteration, there were two rather intemperate posters - not just occasionally rude, but also very critical about libraries, schools, employment, etc.. Should someone look for them, luckily this list is closed to non-subscribers. But if one of their resumes crossed my desk? I can't honestly say I'd consider them, no matter how qualified. Luckily, I don't think they're interested in a school library position.

There have been articles about people scrambling to change MySpace and Friendster profiles: that bikini or wet T-shirt or beer shot pose that was waaaay cool Sophomore year just looks sophomoric now, and perhaps isn't conveying the gravitas that a law internship coordinator is looking for. The past can come back to haunt you - and far easier now in this electronic age.


Alice Y said...

perspective (???) employers -- that gives a whole new meaning to the phrase!

Lazygal said...

Hey! This was typed at 5am... as in before coffee

Karmon said...

The problem with posting about your job is that you can't control how others will interpret you comments, and you may not get the reaction from your co-workers that you expect (especially if they have their own ax to grind). Because of an incident several months ago, I've changed my posting habits.

Lazygal said...

Kar, exactly. That's why it's so important to either hide yourself completely, or moderate your comments.