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I found this cast to be some very solid advice that jibes with my experience. Unlike most, I am a long-time user of the tubes that are The Internets and The Google. I first logged on back in 1983 and have had an online presence since that time almost continuously.

Over many years, I have managed to leave a digital trail behind myself that at the time, did not seem like much of a footprint for anyone to follow. As if we were the first pioneers walking through the great plains probably not to be followed but by a select few techno-wizards, many of we earlybirds had many off-color conversations and posted remarks here and there and everywhere which reflect poorly on ourselves today when found by you, the unwashed masses who followed us here - much to our surprise.

You see, back in the '80's, we never thought that the average person would ever have access to the Internet in their home, or even that college kids would use it daily from the labs at school.

"What the heck? There's non-IT people on our network!"

Those non-technology people started using new tools like The Google to search on our names and find the many billions of pages of rude remarks we wrote to each other in fun... now, not so fun.

I can share with those of you with MySpace pages or any kind of web site that while you will always have sympathy from myself, a fellow publisher of personal information I wish I never had published, that you most certainly need to remove anything you have on the web that makes you look like anything other than a squeaky clean candidate for the next pope.

Or, you might have this experience (I had this experience)

1. Walk into in-person interview for dream job you have been hoping for your entire life that pays gazillions of dollars at startup firm (eventually everyone hired at that time made millions)
2. Sit down.
3. Manager turns around his laptop to you
4. On screen is something you published 15 years ago when you were feisty kid that now is terribly out of context from how funny it was at the time (two friends bantering back and forth)
5. Manager laughs and shakes his head.
6. Manager says, "I'll be short. You are not getting any job here. While you were waiting, I found these things you wrote, and I have to say, while I think it is pretty funny personally, I can't have someone like you working here for me. If you went postal, they would just point at this and fire me for incompetence."

Picture US41 walking out looking ghost white in shock from the realization that non-technology people were using the Internet quite easily thanks to The Google, and that things 15 years old still look like they were published yesterday on a laptop screen.

Clean it up. Clean it up now. No kidding, guys. You might be 20 years older one day and want to run for mayor, but you won't be able to because your stupid photos of you showing your tatoos, boozing it up in the French Quarter, or your dumb arguments with people about politics will be cached on some site you didn't know stored everything on the web. You might be in line to become a VP in your company in your 50's and find yourself having to defend your own idiotic past as if you were running for president. Oh yeah, it happens. It happens A LOT.

I have some fairly tame stuff on the web these days. One day, I'm in a staff meeting with my boss's boss's boss's peers sitting on the side (I'm supposed to be paying attention, give feedback, and take lessons back to my staff meetings)... when in walks the big man and he comes over and jokes with me about my latest blog posting. Turns out, he's been reading it daily for years.

Yeah. Not really so good, but at least I was sober and clothed.

You may be thinking (now) that you don't want to run for mayor or be a big shot in a big company, and you will not ever want to work with people who would judge you like that. And yet, when you are 20 years older, every cell in your body will have been recycled three times, and you will be three iterations away from who you are today with vastly different opinions, perspective, and agenda.

Do not allow your present youthful self and your demand for freedom destroy your flexibility and opportunity in mid-life or later years. The things you do in the name of freedom today will be the bars of the cage you live in tomorrow.

HMac's picture

[quote="US41"]
(I had this experience)

1. Walk into in-person interview for dream job you have been hoping for your entire life that pays gazillions of dollars at startup firm (eventually everyone hired at that time made millions)
2. Sit down.
3. Manager turns around his laptop to you
4. On screen is something you published 15 years ago when you were feisty kid that now is terribly out of context from how funny it was at the time (two friends bantering back and forth)
5. Manager laughs and shakes his head.
6. Manager says, "I'll be short. You are not getting any job here. While you were waiting, I found these things you wrote, and I have to say, [b]while I think it is pretty funny personally, I can't have someone like you working here for me. If you went postal, they would just point at this and fire me for incompetence."[/b]

Picture US41 walking out looking ghost white in shock from the realization that non-technology people were using the Internet quite easily thanks to The Google, and that things 15 years old still look like they were published yesterday on a laptop screen.
[/quote]

What a story. And I took the liberty of bolding the part that closed the deal for me.

Thanks!

By the way, if you're reading this thread, take a minute to read the thread about the 'cast on the main M-T page. Lots and lots of comments - cleary a very topical subject.

-Hugh

jhack's picture

Thank you, US41 - it's not easy to relive such moments.

And folks, most lost opportunities won't be so dramatic. You won't get the interview, and you won't get an explanation.

John

mauzenne's picture

US41,

Had I only known ... Would have loved to share that story on the cast. :-)

Mike

ctomasi's picture

Mike,

You kind of hinted at the longevity of data with your comment about the cached pages and how things never truly get taken off. My wife and I had a similar discussion about our family pictures and personal security.

Time to go Google search my name again... like US41, I've been on the net for over 20 years. It's amazing what old stuff is hanging out there.

protobofh's picture

I work in background screening, so I know how much data is available out there already, before even firing up Google. This is why I've never really understood social networking sites- why would you voluntarily post even more information out there that can be misconstrued and/or used against you?

I can't believe I'm actually old enough to shake my head and sigh "kids these days..."

jeroendemiranda's picture

Dear all,

This post on the RWW might be a good addition to this interesting discussion thread:

From:
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/like_its_users_the_new_facebook_is_...

A quote to get an idea of this post:

'The Hard Task of Staying Relevant

Facebook, which launched in February of 2004, began as a social network just for college students. The closed nature of the network became one of its biggest selling points. Here, students could plan their social schedules, create study groups, and yes, even post those embarrassing photos from last night's kegger without worrying that mom or dad might see.

But now, four years later, those same students are graduating and entering the job market. Cleaning up a Facebook profile - that is, removing those "sort of" friends and old acquaintances as well as ditching a slew of time-wasting applications is almost like a coming-of-age ritual now'

It will be interesting to see in which direction Facebook will evolve to. It might well become a competitor of LinkedIn after all.

The clear lessons of Manager-Tools (among others) regarding the usage of Social Media, and the professional risks involved might be well heard by Facebook management.

Please feel free to comment on my post!

Regards,

Jeroen

ctomasi's picture

Something that wasn't directly mentioned in the MySpace cast was the use of personal web pages or your personal domain (e.g. chucktomasi.com)

As a hard core geek and manager, I give extra points to those who have their own page apart from Facebook/MySpace/etc. Especially if it is showcasing accomplishments. As a manager, when I'm interviewing an IT candidate, I find it much more of an accomplishment to hear "I've setup my own website and have an active blog" than someone with just a myspace presence. Heck, my 12 year old daughter can setup a page on myspace! I want people who can prove they are more qualified than my daughter (tougher than it sounds.)

Of course, the same general rules apply to the personal page/domain as they would myspace.

AManagerTool's picture

[quote="protobofh"]I work in background screening, so I know how much data is available out there already, before even firing up Google. This is why I've never really understood social networking sites- why would you voluntarily post even more information out there that can be misconstrued and/or used against you?

I can't believe I'm actually old enough to shake my head and sigh "kids these days..."[/quote]

If used properly, it can form the basis of the brand that is you! In the next ten years, the global talent pool will be tapped by such utilities. The days of the paper resume....as with everything else....are numbered. We all need to start looking at ourselves as free agent professional services firms complete with marketing departments.

What this cast is all about is managing that marketing department.

THE WORLD IS FLAT! Get with it or get run over by it!

As Tom Peters kept saying over and over again in his book Re-Imagine!, "We are not prepared!" The rules are changing...and nobody knows exactly how to work this. Weeeeeeeeee, this is fun!

I hear a freight train coming...

protobofh's picture

[quote="AManagerTool"]
If used properly, it can form the basis of the brand that is you! In the next ten years, the global talent pool will be tapped by such utilities. The days of the paper resume....as with everything else....are numbered. We all need to start looking at ourselves as free agent professional services firms complete with marketing departments.

What this cast is all about is managing that marketing department.

THE WORLD IS FLAT! Get with it or get run over by it!

As Tom Peters kept saying over and over again in his book Re-Imagine!, "We are not prepared!" The rules are changing...and nobody knows exactly how to work this. Weeeeeeeeee, this is fun!

I hear a freight train coming...[/quote]

You're making an assumption that this is the right tool for that job. Resumes are fine, but what I see on Myspace and Facebook- well, Mike and Mark had to do 2 whole casts about it, so maybe there's some mis-use going on? Maybe there are better approaches, more professional approaches, that don't leak data and get taken out of context? Jumping on any old bandwagon just because it happens to roll by doesn't avoid freight trains, it puts you on the tracks.

AManagerTool's picture

Nope.

No assumption at all. Myspace and Facebook are NOT the right tool for putting your brand on the market. They did a single cast in two parts to explain that if you had/have one, be careful and clean it up. Nowhere in that cast did they say don't use it. Additionally, they go on to explain that LinkedIn is MUCH more appropriate for a professional. Personally, I think LinkedIn is cool as heck and I'm active on it...in ever increasing increments. I just discovered the Q&A thing...what a hoot!.....Yes, I'll be careful but that isn't an excuse to not get out there and play.

I guess that I should have been clearer. My point about the trains is that this IS going to happen. Your brand WILL need to be put out on the market. You CAN control that brand (barely...LOL)....no matter what you use to get it out there.

[b][u]Hiding from this is not going to make it go away and you do not have the time to wait for perfect. This is happening now! Do you want to be ahead of the curve and possibly shape the future? I do. I'm tired of being afraid of everything. Yes, I'll be careful....while I'm being bold and daring![/u][/b]

HMac's picture

[quote="protobofh"]
Maybe there are better approaches, more professional approaches, that don't leak data and get taken out of context?[/quote]

Strictly speaking, no.

Because taking something out of context is what goes on in the other person's head. And you're never going to control that.

Look, I'm completely on board with using these new ways to connect, even if not quite as excited as some others.

[i]***Returns from firing traquilizer dart into AManagerTool's haunch****[/i]

One of the advantages of the approach that Chuck cites - hosting your own blog and page - makes it more likely that someone who's checking you out will land THERE - and you've got a bit more control over look, feel, context, etc. You do that, and then you can strip your Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn presences down - and throw in links to your main site.

-Hugh

AManagerTool's picture

[quote]***Returns from firing traquilizer dart into AManagerTool's haunch**** [/quote]

LOL

Sorry too much coffee...... :roll:

****Grumbles Softly to Self, "Ment every word...little goofy...but still ment it"****

WillDuke's picture

In this cast Mike & Mark posed the question of distinguishing between pornography or not. I once saw a movie that I thought did a great job:

Pornography's in Focus.

:)

mjpeterson's picture

I used to hate having a name that was very common. Now it may seem a blessing. I can google myself all day and it is hard to find links that actually have anything to do with me. And even when it is me, it may be difficult for someone else to determine that it is.

terrih's picture

[quote="mjpete"]I used to hate having a name that was very common. Now it may seem a blessing. I can google myself all day and it is hard to find links that actually have anything to do with me. And even when it is me, it may be difficult for someone else to determine that it is.[/quote]

Hey, that's a good point! There's a life coach in California with the same name as me (except she has a Dr. in front of her name). She's published a book that has gotten a lot of mentions on the web, which makes it hard to find anything about me.

I have been known to fret that someone might think I wrote that book! the topic is, er, volatile! :oops: But I could easily say, "By the way, if you Google my name, I'm not 'Dr. Terri' and I haven't published a book."

asteriskrntt1's picture

I just posted this in the podcast blog section..

In addition to the social networking pages, we also need to be wary of using chat clients like msn, yahoo or aim. They all have settings to record your chats. Even if you turn yours off, the person at the other end can be logging everything you say.

So that innocent little comment or sexist/racist remark you said just in fun is now carved in stone, just like many of those voicemails etc. Cached and stored.

*RNTT

bffranklin's picture

[quote="asteriskrntt1"]I just posted this in the podcast blog section..

In addition to the social networking pages, we also need to be wary of using chat clients like msn, yahoo or aim. They all have settings to record your chats. Even if you turn yours off, the person at the other end can be logging everything you say.

So that innocent little comment or sexist/racist remark you said just in fun is now carved in stone, just like many of those voicemails etc. Cached and stored.

*RNTT[/quote]

This is even more important if your workplace allows instant messaging. In most cases it's automatically and transparently being transmitted through an IM gateway that logs all of your conversations centrally for your employers' perusal. If you work in financial services and can use IM, this is pretty much guaranteed to be the case.

Alternatively, the IT security staff is "sniffing" the traffic from the wire and their intrusion detection systems are alerting them with the full details of your conversation. When I worked as an intrusion analyst, I saw people discussing malicious software that they were compiling on company computers and their controlled substance habits via IM in the middle of the work day.

Seriously, assume _everyone_ is reading _everything_ you transmit across the wire at work. Setting these sorts of things up is trivial. One more reason face-to-face is so much better.

adragnes's picture

[quote="asteriskrntt1"]be wary of using chat clients like msn, yahoo or aim. They all have settings to record your chats.[/quote]

And do not forget about mobile phone text messaging. There has been some instances of politicians in Norway and Finland getting into hot water over their text messages recently. I guess that can be generalised to beware of all modes of communication that can leave a record.

-- Aleksander

adragnes's picture

[quote="bffranklin"]This [being wary of using chat clients] is even more important if your workplace allows instant messaging. In most cases it's automatically and transparently being transmitted through an IM gateway that logs all of your conversations centrally for your employers' perusal.[/quote]

There are some tools out there, such as SimPro, that allow you to encrypt IM conversations. Also, one should note that in many jurisdictions sniffing employees' private conversations would be illegal.

-- Aleksander

bffranklin's picture

[quote="adragnes"][quote="bffranklin"]This [being wary of using chat clients] is even more important if your workplace allows instant messaging. In most cases it's automatically and transparently being transmitted through an IM gateway that logs all of your conversations centrally for your employers' perusal.[/quote]

There are some tools out there, such as SimPro, that allow you to encrypt IM conversations. Also, one should note that in many jurisdictions sniffing employees' private conversations would be illegal.

-- Aleksander[/quote]

My experience is with U.S. clients, where acceptance of a network use policy that grants the organization authorization to inspect all network traffic puts it firmly in the clear. Inspection of IM can be particularly important in companies that do not outright block or filter it, as it provides an out-of-band mechanism for transmitting company data.

AManagerTool's picture

Lets not forget about the NSA tapping our phones. Georgie B is listening!

I'm wearing a tin foil hat as we speak!

Between my personal phone, work phone, beeper and walkie talkie I look like Batman and my pants droop! I have 4 computers. 4! All day, I am tempted. Just use some common sense. If you got a work phone...use it for work. Don't do dumb things at work...PERIOD.

HMac's picture

[quote="AManagerTool"]Don't do dumb things at work...PERIOD.[/quote]

I had a nice long response. Then I was able to delete it.

Thanks, Tool :lol:

erickas's picture

Beyond watching what you do at work, I'd also like mention how in the digital age you might want to think about what your doing online in games even.

I once knew a person who was a known public personality that had in a game said something that considering his public personality could have been viewed [b]VERY[/b] baddly. It was funny at the time and everyone laughed. The problem came when someone mentioned they took some screen captures of the joke for a blog post or something later. He was [b]mordified[/b] about what it [b]COULD[/b] have ment to his career. Luckily, the person seemed to be understanding when he spoke to them, and I haven't heard that anything bad came from the event.

arc1's picture

Case in point - here's a teacher whose students caught him out:

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,24178950-421,00.html

stephenbooth_uk's picture

Whilst reading articles on the Management Today magazine web site I found this one where a HR manager asks Jeremy Bullmore (one of the advice columnists) what to do after finding [url=http://www.managementtoday.co.uk/news/786817/whats-problem/]a senior manager has posted a compromising video on YouTube[/url].

In summary, the advice given is to first assess what the likelihood of this causing harm to the company is. If no harm then just ignore it. If it is likely to cause harm submit a strictly factual report to the CEO and let them deal with it as they see fit.

My gut feeling is that Horstman's 6th Law ("There are no secrets") applies. The question indicates that the video was posted under a pseudonym but that the senior manager is easily identifiable (this does raise the possibility that the manager himself may not have posted it but it was posted by someone he knows), if one person can find it and identify the manager then so could someone else.

I'm not sure, based on the content of the question, if the CEO is the way to go. It depends on corporate culture and the seniority of the manager involved. Maybe someone senior in HR could have a word, especially if they are a peer of the senior manager in question so could couch it as peer feedback. All the CEO may need to know is "There was a problem but it's sorted."

Stephen

corinag's picture

Just off the bat.

Although I'm a bit beyond the Facebook generation, I still have a page and use it frequently, especially to keep in touch with friends now scattered all over the world.

I agree with Mark and Mike about keeping it clean, but... too clean seems a bit suspicious. Why have a page on a social networking site is that is not specifically geared towards the professional life (like Linked in is) you are not willing to be at least a little open about yourself.

Pages that are too "pristine" seem a bit artificial, like the owner has something to hide.

stephenbooth_uk's picture

[quote="corinag"]Pages that are too "pristine" seem a bit artificial, like the owner has something to hide.[/quote]

They could be read that way, balance is the key. A picture of your kids captioned "My kids, who I'm really proud of" is probably good, a picture of your kids carrying you out of a bar captioned "The aftermath of the 'Drunken Einstein' quiz at Joe's" is probably not so good.

Stephen

jhack's picture

Exactly: you can put your love of Scrabble, barbeque, sailing, competitive motorsports or whatnot on Facebook without looking like a fool. You may have been drinking, but the picture shows you grilling ribs with your friends. That's very different from a picture that [i]highlights[/i] your drinking.

John

jhack's picture

There was an article on MSNBC today about recruiters using Facebook to locate references for you (other than the ones you provided!)

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26223330/%20

You are your network...

John

fab5freddy's picture

Simple rules:

If you post to message boards/forums/blogs etc, use a fake name if you don't want anyone to find it.

If you have left a trail of bad stuff behind you, simply cover it up with lots of stuff that is positive and great, making sure that the bad is on the 3rd page of a google search is a good as it's going to get.

Lot of Love GG

ChrisBakerPM's picture

mjpete said: [quote] I used to hate having a name that was very common. Now it may seem a blessing. I can google myself all day and it is hard to find links that actually have anything to do with me. And even when it is me, it may be difficult for someone else to determine that it is.[/quote]

Me too (there are hundreds of Chris Bakers) ...but I think potential confusion between namesakes might not be funny, especially since people like to take a quick look at your web presence without telling you (rare to be in US41's position of being told at interview what you did wrong, I think). What you would do if you had a namesake who you really didn't want to be confused with - they have a webpage full of racism, or debauched photos and other unprofessional indiscretions say?

Personally, I try to make sure contacts have a link to my web page [url][email protected][/url] so that they find me and not the Chris Bakers who are a photographer, driving instructor, illustrator, American footballer with the New York Jets, bus enthusuast, VP of Oracle Corporation UK, or owner of a fan site for the actress Susan Sarandon. Giving out my URL is more effective an easier than doing a Search Engine Optimization exercise to beat all the other Chris Bakers to the top of the Google listings. IfI were a young job applicant with a social networking page I think I would include a link to it in my resume so as to prevent confusion with any other Chris Bakers. An especial menace to me if I were a young candidate would be another Chris Baker I found last time I "Googled myself". He is 25 and has a social networking page that would have been a good case study for the podcast. It includes the memorable sentence "[i]I am supposed to be looking for a job but cba."[/i] (cba would politely translate as "can't be bothered"). Would you hire this fellow?

Also, in roles as interviewers or boss, we need to take reasonable steps to check we've got the right person's site before actioning what we see.

ajb_89's picture

[quote]From: ctomasi - As a manager, when I'm interviewing an IT candidate, I find it much more of an accomplishment to hear "I've setup my own website and have an active blog" than someone with just a myspace presence.[/quote]

What skill is that a candidate would posses by having a personal website and/or active blog? Would that skill not be met by a multitude of other past performances, accomplishments and experiences that the candidate has had?

I always thought it was "past performance predicts future behavior," not "setting up website and blog predicts future performance."

If setting up a website or blog makes a difference, you are missing the whole point of determining which candidates fit the skill set for the position.

In my opinion, personal websites and personal blogs merely take up space. I still have yet to grasp the whole point of blogging. Why in the world would I want to waste my time reading someone else's opinions or diary? And, why would anyone want to read my opinion? If someone wants to know how my day was or what my opinion is....TALK to me. It is ridiculous the amount of time people spend in front of a computer. Do interpersonal (not written) communication skills mean anything in today's society? Are we moving to a world where everyone will communicate through written word and never see a living should (outside of a web cam)?

If you are wondering, yes I do work in IT and no I do NOT have a personal website or blog. Want to know why? I spend 50 - 60 hours per week in front of a computer screen working. Why would I want to spend any of my free time glued to a computer screen to communicate to people who I am and what I am about through a personal website and blog? I have better things to do with my life ... like volunteering, rescuing dogs and helping people. Do I know how to setup a website? Sure … who doesn’t? I have created or re-vamped several for non-profit organizations, sites that will actually make a difference.

As a manager, you have the right to not hire me because I don't have a personal website and blog. But, I can just work at another job, doing what I do, saving that company money instead of your company.

By the way … since I mentioned how I hate blogs … I am here cultivating information and facts for college students on why it only proves how stupid they are when they post a picture on Facebook of them drinking from a bong (even if they claim it was only water), resting their face on a table covered with empty (hard) alcohol bottles or doing a keg stand (which they claim was only a root beer keg). Dang, I know I am old. Stupid, I am not! :wink:

ajb_89's picture

I do not think my name is all that common. However, my brother was fool enough to marry a woman with the same first name as his little sister. Oh, what a joy it has been over the years (25 to be exact). I had to adopt my middle name, which was not all that bad. But because of the names, I am always asked if my parents named me after Pettycoat Juntion. So, I put an entire state between myself and my family to drop the middle name (and for other reasons...like finding a good job).

To put it bluntly, my dear sister-in-law is a hell cat. My brother moved his family back to our home town (population ~800). In a town that small, everyone knows everything and they like to talk about it amoung themselves. Several of my friends in the area have had to defend MY name because of the antics my sister-in-law has pulled ... like yelling, arguing and through a fit at a school board meeting years ago. Word gets around about what happens and older members of the community, who were friends with my grandparents, wonder what has gotten into ME ... ranting and raving at a school board meeting. I am very lucky and thankful to have my friends to set their grandparents straight that it is not ME, granddaughter of so-and-so, that is acting like an idiot just my sister-in-law.

I also have a distant counsin with the same name who lived in the area where I grew up. The doctor's office and hospital always got our medical records confused.

So, it is not ALWAYS a good thing to have the same name as someone else.

LOL! :lol:

jrumple's picture

I’m sure the number of these stories is huge. I’ll add mine to the fray.

Short Version:
I was witness to a young college graduate losing a $60K entry level position because there were a couple pictures of him drunk posted to the Internet.

Long Version:
My manager was teaching me how to conduct interviews. He invited me to sit with him as second seat while he interviewed recent college graduates. Without using names think of four U.S. defense companies. I guarantee one of the names on your list is where this happened. We interviewed a number of candidates. (This happened before I found Manager Tools, so bear with me if we weren’t using the great tools Mark and Mike have given us.)

One of the candidates had all the right information on his resume. He did well in the interview. He had the skills we needed. He had the interpersonal skills in the interview. He would have fit well with the culture of the company. I thought it was a good fit.

After the interview as my manager and I reviewed the candidates we had seen that day. I was recommending this individual as a hire. That is when my manager pulled up the website listed on the resume. (I also learned something about preparing for the interview beyond just reading what was handed to you.) In no more than two clicks, we were looking at a few pictures of the candidate drinking with friends. They were really the sort of thing that most of us probably have done anyway. We just don’t put that on our resumes.

My manager really didn’t have much that went wrong beyond these photos. No offer was made to the candidate.

This could have been the first step to a 30 year career with a single company, even in a culture where people are moving every five years or so. This company could have provided that sort of job changes and diversity under one roof that could have sustained anyone looking for rapid change. This candidate never got that chance because of a couple drunken photos.

jrumple's picture

[quote="bffranklin]
Seriously, assume _everyone_ is reading _everything_ you transmit across the wire at work. Setting these sorts of things up is trivial. [/quote]

I like to think that if I enter it into a company owned computer, the company owns what I entered.

This is mostly a paradigm that everyone should be adopting. Your work life is WORK life, similar to a meal interview being about the interview.

It has been easier for me to come to this than many of the people I work with. I grew up in a relatively small town in the midwest. Everyone in town knew my dad. It doesn't take long to realize that what you do in public is public knowledge and will reflect on you and those around you. My dad had spent years building a positive reputation and I was expected to live up to it.

I've had some people say that thinking people are reading my e-mails, IMs, and forum posts is paranoid. I don't see it that way. I don't think people are after me. In fact I've had some great experiences where people have let me know how my posts have helped them be more effective. I like being able to reach out and help more people than are in my Contacts list.

It is just when you make something public, or part of the company conciseness, it is out there and difficult to pull that back. It is easier not to post something that will be misinterpretted than trying to remove it.

bug_girl's picture

[quote="jrumple"]
I've had some people say that thinking people are reading my e-mails, IMs, and forum posts is paranoid. I don't see it that way. [/quote]

And you are correct, not paranoid. I worked at a company that used IM to communicate within the building quite a bit, and when layoffs came, IM transcripts of people complaining/badmouthing their bosses were used as evidence to make the cuts.

Companies monitor a lot more than we think.

jclishe's picture

[quote="ajb_89"]What skill is that a candidate would posses by having a personal website and/or active blog?[/quote]

Software developers tend to be very community-oriented. If I was interviewing 2 developers that were fairly equivalent in every other way, but one of them actively blogged about development concepts, that's the candidate I would select.