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I'd be interested in having a paid members discussion forum on here. I guess what I am saying is that I would like to chat a lot more about work but really can't given that I have shared MT with many of my peers. Not sure if that would be the right solution or not.

I'd love to have some alternative path to be able to discuss quite a few things on my mind about my work but without the peering eyes......any suggestions? (other than laying down on the proverbial couch for some "chatting")

ramiska's picture

What would stop your peers from paying, too? If you're concerned about anonymity, you are in the wrong place. Keep the posts free from things you don't want everyone else to know.

The beauty of the public forum is that it is non-exclusionary. This assures a diverse pool of participants.

yahtzee's picture

[quote="ramiska"]What would stop your peers from paying, too? If you're concerned about anonymity, you are in the wrong place. Keep the posts free from things you don't want everyone else to know.

The beauty of the public forum is that it is non-exclusionary. This assures a diverse pool of participants.[/quote]

I realized that as I was typing but figured I would ask anyway. I'll give it a shot and try and figure out the best way to frame up some of my concerns.

lazerus's picture

BLUF: If you can't discuss issues under your real name here for fear of someone at your organization finding out, then you aren't able to discuss those issues with them. Remember Horstman's Law (I forgot which): There are no secrets.

US41's picture

I recommend you post using a pseudonym. Oh, I don't know. Like maybe a highway number or something like that.

Mark's picture

I agree with 41. C'mon guys, we ALSO say that tell your boss the truth and the truth shall set you free.

Create a new username, and make sure your "anon" posts are with it.

Mark

stephenbooth_uk's picture

[quote="mahorstman"]Create a new username, and make sure your "anon" posts are with it.

Mark[/quote]

This may seem paranoid (or obvious) but, also remember to change or omit some details (so long as the changes/omissions don't materially impact on the situation being described). I've had a few friends find themselves in sticky situations because they've assumed that because they blogged anonymously they could talk about work with impunity. Unfortunately their boss recognised events they described and hauled them up on the carpet over it.

Also, if you're accessing the forums from work on your lunch break assume that your boss can read every word you type, indeed these days you should assume that your boss can read everything you type on work equipment and see every mouse click. Security lapses and leaks of corporate information and IP over recent years have triggered a major rise in the use of monitoring of IT equipment and its users.

Stephen

rthibode's picture

I agree with the advice to go anonymous.

While I agree openness can be a virtue, it can also seriously hinder communication and the ability of our friends here to support us if we can't provide details.

If you google my user name, a link to manager tools comes up on the first page of hits. I wish I had chosen my user name more carefully when I joined -- everyone I work with would recognize it. I also REALLY wish MT forums were not accessible to Google! I'm obviously naive about these things, but for months I posted merrily thinking only people who were signed up with MT could see the posts.

On a different point, when I saw the title of this post, I thought yahtzee was going to ask for a place to discuss premium content. I'm listening to the interview series these days, and I'm not sure how to ask detailed questions without "giving away" some of the content.

stephenbooth_uk's picture

[quote="rthibode"]I agree with the advice to go anonymous.

While I agree openness can be a virtue, it can also seriously hinder communication and the ability of our friends here to support us if we can't provide details. [/quote]

On the assumption that that relates to my comment, I'll clarify.

I meant in addition to posting anonymously/pseudonymously members who do not wish to be identified by their boss (or someone who might tell their boss what was posted) may want to change or omit such details as can be changed or omitted to reduce the chances of their boss being able to identify them through the description of events. Examples might be switching the genders of protagonists, omitting the name and industry of the employer, changing the time frame, omitting or changing locations of events &c. Obviously it would be unwise to change any details that may be relevant to the solution.

I raised this as I have had a number of friends who blogged under a pseudonym, mentioned work related things and were disciplined because they included enough detail for them to be identified. Some employers are hyper-vigilant (over vigilant some might say) about what their employees say in public. One example that comes to mind is a friend who worked for a certain multinational company and mentioned in her blog certain issues she was having at work (nothing particularly heavy, just some incidents with a particular co-worker who she had problems getting on with). Her real name and the name of the company were never mentioned in the blog and the location of her office was only given as the city it was in. Someone from her office found the blog (she doesn't know how or who, the work related entries were not the only entries as she write about lots of things going on in her life including gigs she'd been to, her relationship with her boyfriendand other general life stuff) and read the entries. Apparently they recognised some of the events described and told some people at work about the blog. Her boss got to hear about it, went to the blog, recognised the same events and worked out who she was. He called her in to his office, got confirmation that it was her blog and sacked her on the spot, claiming that by talking about events in the office she could have revealed confidential information.

Maybe I'm being paranoid (although, if you think this is paranoid check out [url=http://slashdot.org/]Slashdot[/url] sometime) but if your co-workers know you post here and see an entry that decribes events they know recently happened in your work place they are likely to put two and two together and work out that it must be you. If you're going to the trouble to post anonymous (unless you do on general principles anyway) it's likely that you're doing so because you're concerned that your boss may take umbrage with what you posted, in that case you probably don't want people connecting your anonymous posts to your real name. Indeed the fact that you've posted anonymously may be read by your boss as evidence that you knew you were doing something wrong.

Stephen

AManagerTool's picture

Like an idiot, I originally had used my normal username at work for this forum. Then after evangelizing this site to my buddies, one of them told me that I should watch what I say on the boards. I asked Mike to change my user name and The Tool :lol: was born!

I prefer to discuss REAL situations without fear of repercussions. I have to watch what I say and be on my best behavior at work. Unfortunately, that clouds all advice given to me. Here I can get the answers that I need precisely because I am anonymous.

tcomeau's picture

[quote="yahtzee"]I'd be interested in having a paid members discussion forum on here. [/quote]

I'm sympathetic to this notion, though for a different reason. As I go back through the interview series, which is premium content, I'm starting to generate some questions. I've been hunting around for a good forum to use, and I guess Hiring Practices would be as good as anyplace, but a dedicated Interview Series forum would be better. Whether that's for paid members only, or Interview Series buyers only, or is open to everybody is a question for M&M, I think.

tc>

garyslinger's picture

[quote="rthibode"]I agree with the advice to go anonymous. [/quote]
I'll be the lone voice in the wilderness then - I'd rather folks posted under their own names. Yeah, you're searchable, and occasionally you say something that makes you go "oops" (trust me, speaking from experience), but I just inherently trust and care more about the opinion of someone that posts under their own name. I "make exception", I guess, for someone that's vouched for, substantially. US41 would be a good example.

Gary

WillDuke's picture

I agree with Mark's suggestion. Have a 2nd acct for anonymous postings. :)

US41's picture

[quote="garyslinger"]I "make exception", I guess, for someone that's vouched for, substantially. US41 would be a good example.[/quote]

Gary,

I've been using online discussion in one form or another since 1983.

While your sentiment is admirable, it is impossible to implement. There is no guarantee that any of the people posting here using "names" are actually people with those names - not unless you start background checking the names. Even then, you are likely to stumble upon those names associated with *someone*, but never can you be sure it is the same person.

Another thing to think about is that just as behavior and conclusions are separate from one another because of their source, ideas and people are separate from one another despite the source.

Ideas either stand up or do not because they have merit. A name or reputation may provide emotional comfort in accepting the idea without due diligence, but the idea must withstand peer review and scrutiny to truly be valuable.

A "real name" will not help except as a short-cut - if the name has enough reputation to make a difference. I doubt any of ours do.

jhack's picture

Transparency and Anonymity of identity each have merits, and neither is better than the other. Just different.

Keep in mind: anonymity can be unveiled with modest effort, and seeming transparency can be deceiving.

John

Would you believe a software guy named "Hack"?

arc1's picture

[quote="mahorstman"]Create a new username, and make sure your "anon" posts are with it.[/quote]

And presto... 40,000 members! ;)

I did wonder actually - is the 20,000 threshold based on number of people who've registered, ever? Just curious whether there's any data around on how many are actively downloading the casts.

tlhausmann's picture

[quote="jhack"]Would you believe a software guy named "Hack"?[/quote]

Call me old school, but a clever hack beats the heck out of some software development cycles I've seen.

rthibode's picture

Stephen Booth wrote:

[quote]If you're going to the trouble to post anonymous (unless you do on general principles anyway) it's likely that you're doing so because you're concerned that your boss may take umbrage with what you posted . . .[/quote]

Sometimes, yes, I'm protecting myself from my boss. Other times, I want to protect the identity of my colleagues, my directs, or my organization. I do change/omit many details as Stephen suggests. Posting under a pseudonym adds a layer of protection.

lazerus wrote:

[quote]If you can't discuss issues under your real name here for fear of someone at your organization finding out, then you aren't able to discuss those issues with them.[/quote]

Right, of course. Can anyone really be 100% open with everyone in your organization? I find this surprising.

Mark's picture

Our casts are downloaded about 350,000 times a month.

Mark

arc1's picture

I can tell already I'm going to struggle with the maths on this, but my initial reaction to that was :shock:

350,000 / (4+1) = 70,000 people downloading.

I can see some obvious variables that make it a lot more complicated; eg. how many downloads are caused by a new member hitting you for the entire back catalogue, and some variation for the interviewing ones and people who are re-downloading their collection... but still, the 350,000 figure suggests you have a lot more listeners than 20,000?

Mark's picture

Yes, the 350K number includes back downloads. So many other shows don't have that problem, but we have to plan for it. We believe it is a sign of show quality and interest that is perhaps not easily counted in standard ways. Our servers have a much different load problem than other shows that are more temporal.

Further, that number only counts the portion (though majority) of our shows which are hosted elsewhere. We are in the process of moving the rest of our shows there, and at some point we will have an even more accurate (and certainly larger) number.

And yes, we have many more listeners than 20,000.

Mark