If you ask me 3 things I cannot live without. I guess my answer would be Gmail (My world in one e-mail id), WordPress(Most of my online creative output) and Facebook(To social network and pass time) and now increasingly Twitter.
User generated content and social media rule the roost.At least for people like me who are online 24/7.(So much for my social life now that this is in open). However the point of this post is not to enlighten you about the benefits and drawbacks of social media rather to highlight its perils.
We have heard of some high traffic bloggers losing their jobs because of commenting on their employers (Dooce) or for some stance they took (Gaurav Sabnis vs IIPM). Hence people generally do not write about work.And now the SC deems that bloggers can be nailed for what they write on their blog and the argument that it is my personal opinion or its my blog and hence my rules can not be a justification.
Of course I think its unfair because social media thrives on user content and the very essence of something like blogging is lost if you cant bring some amount of honesty into your posts. Agreed some people like the ones I mentioned here test ones patience and yet there are many others who write very honest posts on their life, work and the world around. Is this an attack on one’s fundamental right of speech?Yes it is, because its like I think something sucks but I cant say it. At the same time companies are increasingly having an online presence and monitor what is being said or written about them. When you criticize your workplace, in their eyes you are lowering their standing as a preferred employer. And they will take action. Here are 2 incidents relating to twitter that I recently came across and thought deserve a mention.
A lucky job applicant tweeted the following:
Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.
This tweet caught the attention of Tim Levad, a channel partner advocate for Cisco. To which he responded:
Who is the hiring manager. I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the web.
Ouch! The person who dissed the Cisco offer quickly took their Twitter account private. But Twitter search retained the record.
Remember a couple months ago when the PR guy’s tweet about Memphis came back to bite him? This is another example of the need to be careful with what you post on Twitter, and social media in general.
The applicant also posted this on her website.
I guess caution in what you put up in the virtual world is the key word. Even if you are posting under a pseudonym. Often you may have thought you have your tracks covered and maybe more open than required. You may not be a high traffic blogger and only your friends maybe reading you. This may cause you to let your guard down. But in the internet everything can spread and can be linked back to you and your ip address.The tweet author just thought she was expressing her opinion to a group of friends. The Ketchum PR guy just made an offhand statement about a town he was visiting.
You cant keep your virtual identity in a separate black box from your real one.