If a blog turned book = blook, does blogging as writing = blighting?
Over at Confessions of a Science Librarian, John Dupuis says that if you don’t have a blog, you don’t have a resume. Read part 1, part 2, and part 3. Hyperbole? A little — in part 2, he includes a quote from another blogger changing “your blog is your CV” to “Google is your CV,” which probably sums things up a bit better. But I liked (from part 2):
And if you don’t have a professional development plan, I have to say that blogging will help you define and refine your goals and interests. Believe it or not, just writing a little about a lot of different things really will help you figure out what’s important to you.
Exactly! I’d add that thinking or talking about a lot of different things will also help you figure out your priorities, but blogging is a relatively easy way to begin going about it.
I also nodded all the way through Dorothea Salo’s “Writing and Blogging,” which says, among other things:
Blogging took away the rules, allowed (even forced) me to leave myself in my writing, made me conscious of audience, and made me learn to convince. Without those things, I’d still be mired in bad presenting and worse writing.
This reminds me very much of Julia Cameron’s admonition to do “morning pages” and the general standard advice to aspiring authors: Write every day. Although blogging, unlike morning pages, is very much for an audience, it can veer between the brain-dump of “morning pages” and writing that could easily transfer to “the professional literature.” Every bit of blogging serves as that same practice that morning pages provide: Seeing what works for you, what works for your readers, and what works when you come back to it later; finding the nuggets of usefulness among everything you have to say; finding your own voice.
And, coming back to the idea of blogs — or of Google — being “your CV.” The perennial complaint about employers Googling candidates has popped up again, this time on jESSE. (Access the archives, and read the “if wikipedia is problematic, then what do we think about library employers who google their candidates?” thread from February.) The main argument this time is that this enables employers to engage in discriminatory hiring practices by finding answers to questions they would otherwise be prohibited from asking (with the usual side arguments about “how do they know they have Googled the right John Doe,” etc.).
What I first found interesting here was this argument from the original post:
If a manager makes hiring decisions based on a medium that librarians, by and large, universally disparage as an unreliable source of information, then it calls into question the manager’s core competencies as an employer. Does the manager have the skills to conduct a successful job search without resorting to sources of information that are not verifiable (such as facebook or myspace)?
I’d actually argue that it’s incumbent upon managers — especially librarian managers — to gather as much info as possible on potential candidates, including information on how they interact online (although I’d move a bit beyond Facebook and MySpace). How we present ourselves online, especially in our professional interactions on blogs or on lists, has carryover to how we’ll interact in the workplace. I would very much hope that any hiring manager would Google me, because what I have to say online and how I choose to say it translates very closely into what my workplace priorities would be. The OP also asserts that:
Finally, it is also important to note that librarians are going to look hypocritical and ineffectual if they make a stand to protect the privacy of their patrons and ignore the privacy of their employees, even if they are only potential employees.
Here’s what we tell the highschoolers: If you post it online, you don’t have an expectation of privacy. This includes the listserv message excerpted above, which I had deleted out of my email, but found again in about 10 seconds by Googling “jESSE” and accessing the archives. Look, there it is, and if I found it, potential employers (or anyone else who happens to Google that topic, that person, her institution) might well find it as well. What you say online is not private. You can quote me on that, because I’ve said it online, and here it is for all to see.