You keep bringing up things that really make me have to continue on this topic... > Let me just put this in front of everyone for consideration: > http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/01/28/man_sacked_for_blogging/ "Mr Murray explained that he spent no more time working on the blog as other colleagues spent taking breaks from work to have a cigarette." Translation: Mr. Murray was utilizing company resources. Resources that had him sending 1's and 0's to the internet that originate from his workplace and could potentially be tracked back to--that's right--them. And on their time. Bad move. > And let's not forget the recent post that got the Microsoft > guy sacked: > http://www.michaelhanscom.com/eclecticism/2003/10/even_microsoft_.html > > Who would have thought that putting a freekin' picture of an > Apple computer > on the web could get you in such a world of hurt -- not me! "I took this shot on the way into work on the loading dock (MSCopy, the print shop I work in, is in the same building as MS's shipping and receiving). Three palettes of Dual 2.0Ghz G5's on their way in to somewhere deep in the bowels of Redmond." Read: I took this shot on company property. He even states it later. It may seem petty, but it easily could be seen as a security breach. While I disagree with the rationale... I can see where they're coming from. Just because he displays this one publicly and says "it's the only one" doesn't mean it is and would make him suspect. > And don't forget the infamous : > http://www.shortnews.com/shownews.cfm?id=39861 Title of Article: Congressional Aide Fired for Blogging Sexual Exploits on Senate Computers ON SENATE COMPUTERS. Translation: trackable back (via IP) to the Senate Offices. More than a few of the companies I work for state things like "nothing personal" on their computers. Some track it closer than others. Blogging about that crap from work is taking a risk--still using company resources. > The best is that this guy > (http://www.gutrumbles.com/archives/006081.php#006081 got > laid off about > because of unrelated posts in his weblog that were considered > offensive by > HR. Well, here's the kicker. This is the most difficult one to find, however, he does mention "Violence in the Workplace Training" and I can't help but think of where he'd come up with that topic, except for... Well, in the workplace, and if he's obvious about things or discussing where he works... That's a risk. He was a manager; represents people, etc. I mean, it's kind of like finding out a teacher surfs pr0n--people get curious about that. Okay, maybe it's not like that, but the point is, he also made disparaging remarks about a member of the management team (very disparaging), and yes, she happened to be his ex-wife, which was even more ridiculous to post about and not remain anonymous. > In fact what you do in your own time, especially if it has a direct > relationship to the work that you do, can in fact have direct > and negative > impact on your working life, including getting your derrier > canned. It's > really important for everyone's protection that you get your > outside work, > and blogging activity, approved *in writing* by your workplace. But, let's analyze everything I just showed you. Time after time, the place of work was either used inappropriately--for personal use--or was discussed, slandered, etc. That, isn't really keeping your activities personal and/or private. Even in the last example, he largely put himself at risk and I think we can all see that. > As a professional, you owe it to your outside clients to > protect yourself > and them from *your* workplace, and not the other way around, > and that's why > I'm so strongly pro-permissions. They could be named in a > court case just > as easily as you could, simply by the association with you as a > representative of the company. And since the boundaries are > so vague, it's > super-important. And I say that "everyone does freelance work, no one talks about it" can work nicely for you, if you're intelligent about it. If you so much as alter a line of code at your employer and FTP it to a site that you work on, I call it grounds for termination. No question about it. If you do it at home on your own time, your employer won't know about it and they have no reason to care as it does not interfere with your work. The biggest thing to remember is to NOT let the lines bleed or blur, not even a little. It happens, and situations vary from organization to organization, but if someone wants you fired, they'll find a way to do it, and slip ups like the ones described are the reasons people get let go. Just remember, if you ask permission, you could be making yourself suspect, as well. Think about the FBI (and this could be just urban legend) and the bit that you can see your file at any time if you write in. But, if you didn't have one and you write in, they've just opened a file on you. If you're asking permission and suddenly something happens at work such as performance slippage or a quality issue, you could open yourself up to being the first target because you're moonlighting. Think this through thoroughly. > The point about all the blogging posts is simple... You can > and are liable > for what you say and do outside of work. IF you blog about persons you work with or blog while at work or blog about stuff at work that may be covered in your contract--such as sharing photos of objects on the property. > I wish a real kosher labor lawyer would weigh in on this, as > I'm not really > in a position to say anything more than my opinion, which is > kind of weak. Yep. :-) > Smart move. When I got laid off from a VERY big (you've all > heard of it) > computer manufacturer, I was actually asked to sign a > contract that forbid > me from discussing pretty much anything, anywhere, ever. Sigh. Well, > another tech layoff wasn't much news anyways, right? As did I, however, signing on my behalf was also signing to provide me with a severance package. To me, that was a fair trade, however, when I never received a corrected document based upon changes requested from an attorney and I never received the package, that opened things up a little differently. And I still kept my mouth shut because, frankly, then I'd just look as ugly as they do, in my opinion. Plus, why open myself up for something that's dead and buried? > I personally detest this discussion (not a personal thing, read on). > Political Correctness, with all it's good intentions and > sometimes positive > results (protection against descrimination = good), has > really gone over the > top in the States, and unfortunately, it has had big > concequences that are > IMHO out of proportion with the offenses that were inflicted. I think it's very healthy. I bet there's a huge chunk of people on this list that blog. I used to be one of those "this is so cool" bloggers who's been doing it for several years and was super proud. I no longer open myself up to employers in that fashion; I don't care if they find the site, but I don't go out of my way to hand it to them, either. It's good discussion to show people a thing or two--we're both pretty much on the same side, but we're seeing things differently. Cool by me. > Nice discussing this with you. Word.