Seems that blogs, which begin as a fun way to talk about your life or as a way to get word out about your business, can also get you in some trouble if you aren’t careful about what you say . . . or even if you are.
I came across a post about this over the weekend and thought a lot about it. As a writer I am always conciously choosing my words. Do they sound right when put together? Do they make a point?
I do blog, on a personal level, about my running and training for long distance races when I also have two children under foot, and sometimes I do tell ancedotes about my kids. However, I always choose carefully what I write, because I know that part of me is ‘exposed’.
Sad, but oh so true.
This is something we really need to think about in this day and age. Think back to when computers became prevalent and email became the best way to communicate with others. After some time, it was found that emails were being used against people in the workforce. Crude jokes were being passed; harsh words were spoken about coworkers and bosses. These words are all right there, on the screen, and once out there is no taking them back.
Blogs are the same way, and it is so easy for something to be taken out of context when it is in print. I can pull out just a few choice words from what I’ve written above ( . . . harsh words were spoken about coworkers and bosses . . . ) and interject that into any document or conversation and it becomes something totally different than what I was trying to say in the first place!
I don’t know the circumstances behind the blog mentioned above. I haven’t even gone on to read the blog in question; I just pulled it out to show you what can happen. You never know who is going to be reading your words, or how they may use them in the future.
So I thought I would share a few words of wisdom about writing for the public that may help as you get your thoughts out on the screen.
Use your head when writing your thoughts out for all to view. If you are getting ready to write something down, take a few moments to collect your thoughts. Read what you have written before you hit publish. Go back later if you need to.
Don’t hit ‘publish’ when you are angry. Instead, write it all down so you can get your feelings out and then go back when you have cooled down some and consider carefully what was written. If you have specific names of company’s and people in your writing, you may want to reconsider using them.
On that note: Keep it as unpersonal as you can when it comes to others. I know of one blogger who was fired from her position when coworkers and bosses found her blog. She is now making a lot of money blogging, but losing a job is a huge thing, and most people will not go on to make tons of money blogging after such a loss (or, if you do, it may take some time). I know of someone else who was blogging about people at work. He changed their names, but those people who found his blog knew exactly who he was talking about. It caused some friction on the job site because he had picked out traits of people to talk about. While they were funny to readers, they weren’t too funny to those he had targeted.