To a newcomer, blogging may seem to be an innocuous practice. Newbies should beware of a keen bloodhound called Google.
In a MSN news article online today, I read that individuals' care-free web personas, scrutinized by potential employers, were hurting their prospects of getting a new job. The article discussed Facebook party photos ending up in the wrong hands and the cropping up of new companies, comprised undoubtedly of lawyers, to destroy slander and to protect "one's reputation."
Hm, this mouse smells a lucrative new trend in mitigation!
New bloggers: achtung, babies. After only one week of blogging away, commenting freely, reviewing restaurants and Twittering, I did a casual search of my own blog name. Many links - nay, pages and pages of links - emerged. Every comment, every semicolon had been found by Google. Sniffed out like a bloodhound. Comments to comments were even found. It was amazing.
Washingtonienne was canned for blogging about trysts at the office. I think most people in sensitive positions, gainfully employed, would not choose to do that. But consider more subtle biases and repercussions of off-the-wall comments or mean notes. Consider how a potential employer - or client- would view any of it. Or all of it. Anonymity on the web is virtually non-existent.
Now, if everyone went around censoring their blogs to oblivion, it would be a pretty dull blogosphere. So, please don't, for our entertainment's sake.
Just be careful.