Caution: Your Boss is reading your blog

Posted On November 16, 2005 | Written by Emmanuel Oluwatosin

I saw this article online and feel everybody should read it. Hm… I find this piece interesting and eye-opening beacuse I blog normally from office.

Terrence Ryan knew Scott McNulty in passing at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, where they both work. But it was McNulty’s blog, or Web log, that made Ryan take a harder look. It showed Ryan that McNulty, a systems administrator, really knew computers. More important, it revealed his “geeky love of technology,” a personal quality that “tends to work really well in our department,” Ryan said.

Because of the blog, Ryan offered McNulty, 28, of Philadelphia, a promotion to systems programmer on a team responsible for information-technology services. McNulty took it. He still writes his blog — a blend of his musings on the personal and technical at — knowing that several of his co-workers and his bosses read it. “It’s had a very positive impact on my career,” he said.

About 10 million Americans now write blogs, ranging from the confessional and edgy to the technical and mundane, estimates Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Thirty-five million read them. For businesses, blogs and other forms of personal Internet communication constitute a new frontier fraught with promise and peril. On the one hand, companies are scrambling to use them as a recruiting and marketing tool, and are encouraging some employees to blog. On the other, they are wondering how to deal with the damage that current and former employees and dissatisfied customers can do on the Web.

The result is a “mild level of social panic,” Rainie said. “The lawyers and the marketers are, in many cases, at least in covert war with each other.”

For the moment, much of the news falls into the “cautionary tale” category. In August, a California automobile club fired 27 workers for posting messages on the Web that offended co-workers. Not long before, a Boston University instructor was fired for blogging about a distractingly attractive student, a blogging nanny was fired for telling too much about herself and her employers, and a New York beauty editor lost a new job because of blogs about the fashion industry.

Andy Fox, a senior investigator who conducts background checks for Investigative Group International, said Internet searches on prospective employees were now commonplace. For high-profile jobs, he said, “I’ll run everything down on Google if it goes to 27 o’s.” Each o in a Google search is worth 10 entries. < !–more–>

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