// Internet Duct Tape

5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line (You’re Fired!)

Posted in Group Writing Projects, Technology by engtech on May 11, 2007

We wait with excitement for Trump to say “You’re Fired” on TV, but it isn’t nearly as entertaining in real life. Building a blog with a large audience is hard work. It can be like moonlighting with a second career. It takes attention away from other aspects of your life, like your primary career. It can have negative consequences.

Mainstream media has documented several cases of people being fired for blogging. Here are five of the reasons why.

blog late absent unfocused sick day working from home photo by magnus

5. Lateness, Absenteeism, Lack of Focus

Blogging is a hobby that it is easy to become passionate about. You set your own hours, you write what you want to write about, and you can get near-instant response. All that passion can take away from other aspects of your life and lead to late nights, showing up late to work, and frequent “sick days” or “working from home”. These are signs of an obsession more than a passion.

“… was dismissed for excessive absenteeism, failure to meet the continuing educational requirements we expect and demand from our staff, misuse of company time and resources, attempting to create divisiveness among the staff, and finally, the insubordination of creating a blog that is in direct conflict to the goals of the company.” – actual dismissal notice of a blogger

o rly owlr fark photoshop by cote

4. Misuse of Company Time and Resources

Dates and time are recorded on all blog posts and comments. Writing a blog is like creating an log of how you’ve been goofing off during work hours – and anyone can read it. Even if you restrict blogging to your personal time, your blog might be giving the wrong impression. Quite often dates and times are wrong because of incorrect time zone settings or using the future posts feature. Never forget that company Internet use is logged and monitored.

“Two out of three British Internet users lose significant portions of their time to irrelevant web browsing, a study said on Tuesday. Workers confronted with the almost unlimited pool of online information become distracted and begin ‘wilfing,’ short for ‘What Was I Looking For?’.”Reuters

cory doctorow being all clowny photo by laughing squid

3. Becoming an Unofficial Spokesperson for the Company

If you publicize your name and occupation then your personal blog can become an unofficial outlet for information about the company. People will look to you for the inside track about what is going on and take your opinion as the opinion of your employer, despite any disclaimers to the contrary. Blogging can change you from an employee to a source of news about your employer.

“My exercise in figuring out where the line was repeatedly crossing it and then be told that I crossed it. Lawyers have come into my office three times.”Jeremy Zawodny of Yahoo (quote source)

ruby and cocaine on rails photo by cathycracks

2. Inappropriate Pictures

Inappropriateness is in the eye of the beholder. People have been fired for sexually suggestive images and substance abusing images (especially if in uniform). Others have been fired for public pictures of inappropriate behavior in the workplace. Some companies disallow cameras on the premise altogether, and people have been fired for publishing any photos of company locations because it is a “security issue”.

 

“A Pennsylvania woman claims that her teaching career has been derailed by college administrators who unfairly disciplined her over a MySpace photo that shows her wearing a pirate hat and drinking from a plastic cup.”The Smoking Gun

photo by gymnart

1. Disclosing Internal Company Information or Politics

Companies like to control their image. Any corporate communication with the public is examined and re-examined at different levels. Blogging cuts through that hierarchy like a hot knife through a block of lard. Writing about your company’s internal practices, alluding to sensitive information like product release dates / product features, or saying disparaging things about a client / business associate can all return to haunt you.

“I put up a post on Twitter that I wish I hadn’t. I said that I don’t read the hard copy of PC Magazine and that my free subscription goes in the trash. In a guest editorial on Strumpette you weighed whether the magazine in response should blacklist all PR pitches from Edelman, my employer, on behalf of our tech clients.”Steve Rubel

photo by traveler2020

Infamous Cases of People Fired Because of Their Blog

Will I Get Fired Because of My Blog?

Don’t be fooled by mainstream media’s coverage of blogging. When you do the math it is obvious that out of 15 million active blogs, the ratio of people fired versus people happily blogging their little hearts out is quite low. For every person who has been fired for their blog there have been many more who have had a job opportunities because of blogging. Many people have turned the notoriety behind their firing into new opportunities like book deals. Blogs and social media sites are a serious threat to mainstream media sites like newspapers and magazines, and the negative reporting may be as simple as old media looking down on new media.

However, it *is* smart to remember that the Internet is a public space. Do not confuse obscurity with privacy because obscurity does not last. Follow common sense and never post anything that you wouldn’t say to someone’s face or you would be ashamed to show someone. Be aware if your corporation has a blogging policy (even my local community center has a blog / MySpace / Facebook policy for their instructors).

cat tinfoil hat paranoia blogging photo by dizzydot

Don’t put on the tinfoil hat and self-censor too much though. If the fur does hit the fan it will likely be over something so small that you would have never thought to censor yourself. Besides, if your blog is a true representation of who you are then why would you want to work for someone who was ashamed of that?

5 Reasons You’ll Get Hired Because of Your Blog

This was written as part of a ProBlogger group writing project

63 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. mikediesel said, on May 11, 2007 at 7:35 am

    If you get fired because of your blog it’s probably a good thing. If you cared about your job, you’d place it before blogging in your priorities. If you don’t give a shit about your job and you’re just going to work for the paycheck, then fuck it. Getting fired could be the best thing that’s happened to you. If you spend enough time on your blog to get shit-canned from a job, I’d say you’ve got enough passion about blogging to use it as a source of income.

  2. Ilya Lichtenstein said, on May 11, 2007 at 8:28 am

    Almost mind reader, except your post is much better :)

    I like the list of fired bloggers- well researched!

  3. Michael Sync said, on May 11, 2007 at 9:51 am

    really nice post.. i was thinking to post about this but couldn’t post due to some reasons..
    Thanks.

  4. Doug Karr said, on May 11, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    When your blog’s brand becomes as powerful as your company’s… there’s definitely some friction. It’s not necessarily discussed, but it’s there. I can tell you that I personally had to sit with my CEO after my blog post that you referenced. I am not getting fired, but there’s a very good chance that a ‘transition’ may happen soon.

    I’ll keep you ‘posted’.

  5. engtech said, on May 11, 2007 at 5:32 pm

    My blog is off of my company’s radar (hopefully) if only because I hate talks like that.

    I once got a red flag on my file at one company because they found “inappropriate content” in my email account. And that’s when I learned not to give out my work email address to friends who send stupid mail forwards.

  6. Top 5 - Group Writing Project Day 4 said, on May 11, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    [...] You’re Fired! – 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line by engtech [...]

  7. [...] You’re Fired! – 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line by engtech [...]

  8. [...] You’re Fired! – 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line by engtech – make sure blogging doesn’t get you fired. [...]

  9. [...] You’re Fired! – 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line by engtech [...]

  10. [...] You’re Fired! – 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line by engtech [...]

  11. [...] You’re Fired! – 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line by engtech [...]

  12. [...] You’re Fired! – 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line by engtech [...]

  13. [...] You’re Fired! – 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line by engtech [...]

  14. [...] You’re Fired! – 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line by engtech [...]

  15. [...] You’re Fired! – 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line by engtech [...]

  16. [...] You’re Fired! – 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line by engtech [...]

  17. tt said, on May 11, 2007 at 10:29 pm

    I hire people to do my work and not their own on my time. As an employer I would fire anyone using my company equipment on company time for any purpose other than for doing the work I assign them. I’m continuously blown away by the fact that many people I know are blogging at work on work time and feel no guilt about doing so at all.

  18. engtech said, on May 11, 2007 at 10:35 pm

    @tt: So very true. Anyone who is covertly blogging at work should not be surprised if they get their comeuppance.

  19. Top 5 Blog Contest Winning Tactics said, on May 12, 2007 at 12:59 am

    Exactly TT.

    I am wondering as I read this post, who in the world is blogging on company time? How long do they expect to last at any job?

    …scratch that, I just thought of unions & many government jobs.

    BTW, what does knocking Bill O’Reilly have to do with blogging at work?

  20. engtech said, on May 12, 2007 at 1:16 am

    The knock at Bill O’Reilly is an entry to a Fark photoshop contest. Fark.com is one of the more popular time wasting websites.

    re: blogging on company time

    You only have to look at Facebook status/commented on photo/posted a note times to notice that it’s epidemic. I’m not sure if it’s a generational thing, but it seems that a lot of people who were exposed to the Internet as teenagers use it during company time.

    Good read about Facebook from the point of view of someone who is at/near university level:
    http://compsci.ca/blog/my-job-is-more-addictive-than-facebook/

  21. Top 5 Group Writing Project said, on May 12, 2007 at 1:30 am

    [...] 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line [...]

  22. [...] I’m not being fired for blogging too much or embezzling funds. No, there wasn’t a big falling out with partners in the company throwing [...]

  23. Darlene said, on May 12, 2007 at 5:41 am

    good stuff.

  24. Stiletto said, on May 12, 2007 at 9:53 am

    Hey! Who stole that pic of me doing blow? Goddamn it…no fucking privacy these days, man!

  25. [...] You’re Fired! – 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line by engtech [...]

  26. [...] You’re Fired! – 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line by engtech [...]

  27. [...] You’re Fired! – 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line by engtech [...]

  28. Top 5 Listen | Wissen belastet said, on May 12, 2007 at 7:43 pm

    [...] You’re Fired! – 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line by engtech [...]

  29. [...] You’re Fired! – 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line by engtech [...]

  30. Daniel said, on May 13, 2007 at 1:20 am

    Love this post man.

    Actually as you said there are two sides of the same coin, getting fired can either be a good or a bad thing, depending on your perspective.

  31. tt said, on May 13, 2007 at 3:43 am

    Every blogger I know complains that when the weekend rolls around their blog stats fall. It seems that information indicates just how many people are blogging or reading blogs while they are being paid to work – look like a significant number.

  32. tt said, on May 13, 2007 at 4:19 am

    Here’s a story about another prominent blogger who has been demoted http://www.blogherald.com/2007/05/10/minneapolis-star-tribune-takes-heat-for-demoting-blogger/

  33. [...] You’re Fired! – 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line by engtech [...]

  34. [...] Top 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line (You’re Fired!) by EngTech Share This Close [...]

  35. [...] You’re Fired! – 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line by engtech [...]

  36. Runningmonkeys » Blog Archive said, on May 13, 2007 at 9:25 am

    [...] You’re Fired! – 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line by engtech [...]

  37. engtech said, on May 13, 2007 at 10:51 am

    That’s part of it, but it may also be people are more social on weekends. It’s easy to find time for surfing the net on weekdays depending on your routine, weekends can be harder because they don’t have the same routines.

    I find that during the winter the stats hit isn’t as bad as during the summer.

  38. [...] You’re Fired! – 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line by engtech [...]

  39. [...] You’re Fired! – 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line by engtech [...]

  40. Near and Dear said, on May 14, 2007 at 2:52 am

    Great article. I don’t understand how people like this keep a job:

    http://jeanjeanie.blogspot.com/2007/04/rules-to-get-work-done-by.html

    I actually follow her blog only to gawk at how it’s possible that she’s not been called on the carpet for spending all her work time on personal blogging….

  41. [...] You’re Fired! – 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line by engtech [...]

  42. [...] You’re Fired! – 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line by engtech [...]

  43. JoLynn Braley said, on May 15, 2007 at 7:13 am

    Very good points, and now I see that your post was part of the Problogger group writing project; I knew that I didn’t read all 893 posts! :)

    This was a good entry. Interesting stories, too. I heard of a couple but not all, thanks!

    JoLynn

  44. [...] You’re Fired! – 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line by engtech [...]

  45. [...] read this post: 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line by engtech and got sad, because it’s totally spot on. A lot of blogs get bloggers into hot [...]

  46. [...] You’re Fired! – 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line by engtech [...]

  47. [...] For the full post please go here. [...]

  48. [...] There are some people who lost their jobs cuz of their blogs. EngTech wrote excellent post about 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line (You’re Fired!). ( I don’t wanna hear that you have arrested cuz of your blog. [...]

  49. [...] 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line (You’re Fired!) – Adds, the caveat that you must sure you’re not late for work or slacking cos you’re blogging. [...]

  50. David Bradley Blog said, on July 23, 2007 at 8:21 am

    There was yet another incident last week of a blogger being fired for exposing the employer to the wrath of a client whose privacy had been compromised. I cannot provide further details but did write a few tips on how not to get fired for bloggers, which I put together before seeing this IDT post, honest.

    db

  51. Vern said, on July 27, 2007 at 1:42 am

    A blogger in Thailand, a woman teacher, was recently fired for blogging during her personal time, not even from work! They fired her just in case she was going to blog about work in the future! NUTS!

  52. engtech said, on July 27, 2007 at 2:39 am

    I’ve heard of more than one “blogging policy” like that.

  53. [...] Why you could be fired (or hired) for Blogging – There are many different aspects of whether or not blogging is good. Having a well-designed and nicely managed blog can make your blog a great resume’, or rather your blog can be so inappropriate or disorganized that it becomes the exact reason you don’t get hired. Either way, if you want to make sure your blog can’t be incriminating against you, then you should read this post before continuing. When the time comes for me to look for a job, this is definitely what I need to keep in mind. (In that case I should probably get rid of the Harry Potter torrents post?) You can also read this article, which is rather lengthy, but has extra information. [...]

  54. Michael Woo said, on November 15, 2007 at 9:16 am

    lolz, this is pretty hilarious! But maybe you can become a pro blogger and ditch your job :D I did it a year ago though..

  55. Sneezy Melon said, on November 17, 2007 at 12:24 am

    lol! amazing post. I think I read something similar somewhere, but this is even better :P

  56. Jaiku Singh said, on December 29, 2007 at 2:15 pm

    heh! nice…perhaps thats why I got fired :P

  57. [...] Don’t take my word for it.. this is worthy of Letterman! [...]

  58. Nick said, on May 27, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    It might not be all that bad…Shoemoney got fired twice because of his other online ventures and look at him now!

  59. [...] How Blogging and Social Networking Can Impact Your Job Search 3: Bank intern busted by Facebook 4: 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line 5: How to use Facebook without Losing Your Job over it 6: Students: The Things You Post On MySpace [...]

  60. [...] misused company equipment, or their job performance suffered b/c of the distractions of blogging. Here’s a nice summary article on reasons why people are fired for [...]

  61. [...] Line – Ask the employee to go for a ride with you. Then, you drive them right to the unemployment offices. Be sure not to talk to them the whole time. Then, when you get there, throw them out of the car [...]

  62. My second question has…

  63. [...] You’re Fired! – 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line by engtech [...]


Comments are closed.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 281 other followers

%d bloggers like this: