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Intern? Bloggers Need Not Apply 253

westlake writes "Short, funny, and to the point, a good read from the NYT about the realities of blogging in the corporate world." From the article: "Most experienced employees know: Thou Shalt Not Blab About the Company's Internal Business. But the line between what is public and what is private is increasingly fuzzy for young people comfortable with broadcasting nearly every aspect of their lives on the Web, posting pictures of their grandmother at graduation next to one of them eating whipped cream off a woman's belly. For them, shifting from a like-minded audience of peers to an intergenerational, hierarchical workplace can be jarring."
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Intern? Bloggers Need Not Apply

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  • Its all mentality (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Ajehals ( 947354 ) <a.halsall@pirateparty.org.uk> on Thursday May 25, 2006 @06:37PM (#15405787) Homepage Journal
    People shouldnt be surprised, security is 20% technical 80% mentality. The "tell everyone everything" mentality is not good for security.

    However, not all bloggers share that mentality. And not all non bloggers are exempt from it so hey.

    blogs are at least a fantastic way to vet an employee before hiring.

  • A chilling future (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @06:50PM (#15405864)

    OK, I've heard the "information wants to be free" mantra a zillion times, and I've met my fair share of people who think their right to free speech (no matter what they're saying and what the consequences will be) trumps anything else.

    I've seen an absurd story on the news today about a British woman who was prosecuted for indecent exposure, because she had the audacity to sunbathe nude in her own garden. (She was acquitted, but the comments by both the public prosecutor and the judge were profoundly inappropriate, and no-one seems to have taken any action against the "offended" neighbour who videoed the nude sunbather without her permission - something that probably is illegal under the recent Sexual Offences Act.)

    You know the thing that really scared me today? A professor (in the UK sense, i.e., a very senior academic) talking about the "semantic web" and implying that in a few years, everyone will have a unique "Internet ID", and everything from their personal details to pictures of their wedding will be on-line for all to look up, instantly and reliably.

    Choosing to share your personal information with the world is one thing, though I suspect a great many of the enthusiastic youngsters supporting trendy web sites today will regret it one day. Choosing to share others' personal information with the world is an entirely different thing, and I'm not sure I want to live in a world where everything about you is assumed to be public knowledge.

    Maybe I'm just biased, since a bitter ex of mine did once post intimate and formerly private personal messages on her blog (but edited and with modified dates). It just seems to me that this sort of thing is happening ever more often: it's assumed that no-one you deal with has a private life, and if you know it, it's perfectly fine to share it with others. I guess the whole posting confidential company information thing is just another nail in the coffin: as the saying goes, privacy is dead, and we have killed it.

    It's tragic, and it's even more tragic that most people don't even realise. Yet.

  • by Kozar_The_Malignant ( 738483 ) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @06:51PM (#15405869)
    "What would Google show?" is a question you need to ask yourself when applying for a job. Employers increasingly Google the name of prospective employees. Not for the mail room job, but certainly for management level positions or those with security implications or even just those above some annual salary level. You also need to remember that with huge caches that shit doesn't go away even if you try to disappear it. What you thought was cool at 20 may not seem so to someone you are asking to pay you 100k at 30.
  • by Sentri ( 910293 ) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @06:55PM (#15405895) Homepage
    Someone put forward the theory to me the other day that we like Celebrities (and I use the term 'we' here loosely) because we miss the sense of community our tribal ancestors had. Celebrities fill the gap because they provide a familiarity with faces and shared stories that link us to other people around the world.

    Blogging seems to extend this idea (ideal?) by making peoples stories more openly shared. For example, I read http://www.waiterrant.net/ [waiterrant.net] and http://www.oblivio.com/ [oblivio.com], I know their stories even though they live in new york, and somehow the world feels smaller and less disparate. Added to that, I have a few friends who read the same blogs, we both know their stories (or at least the stories they choose to tell).

    It brings back that sense of community a little.
  • by shrdlu ( 42466 ) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @06:55PM (#15405897)
    I continue to be amazed at the personal details shared across the internet. At one time, I put my phone number, office number, and alternate email addresses, in my signature. That changed significantly after AOL "joined" the internet, of course. With the panic in human resources about providing or receiving references (beyond the dates of employment), things like myspace provde an interesting adjunct to vetting future workers.

    It isn't just the inappropriate pictures that will keep you from being employed. It's the evidence that you can't keep quiet about things, that you're not trustworthy, that you're not even very good with grammar and spelling (in the real world, spelling counts). Once upon a time you could move away from a bad reputation, or switch jobs to leave behind a bad experience or two. Now, with things like zabasearch and google hacks to track you down, youthful indescretion becomes a permanent and inescapable brand.

    No second chances. Sad.
  • by SubRosa ( 976527 ) <sub.rosa@projectwhitenoise.org> on Thursday May 25, 2006 @07:25PM (#15406052) Homepage
    I've always wondered... Even if specific, identifiable facts are omitted from "anonymous" online posts, would it be hard for a statistical/Bayesian system to pick out text written by a specific person given a sufficient corpus of material known to be from that person? Seems those techniques do a hell of a decent job with spam. I don't see how normal prose would be any different.

    Simply being anonymous may not be enough anymore. You may need to sufficiently change your prose style, which may be very difficult to do, given how each person's vocabulary and grammar skills are unique.

  • Re:Hospitals (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 70Bang ( 805280 ) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @08:46PM (#15406402)

    (all of this known, first-hand)
    Hospitals are sieves...for the most part. I can cite a current situation where things were kept very clandestine due to the extreme nature of what was going on. The press largely chose to skip over it which shocked me.

    Nurses aren't unfireable, per se, regardless of how endangered a species they appear to be. It just costs more to lure some of them out of hiding. Nurses are, however, almost the lifeblood of a facility as there are few things they can't & don't do, out of care for the patients as much as pure necessity. You don't see orderlies any more. It's not unusual for a minimum of the staff, working directly or indirectly for the hospital, to be more than 1/3 nurses. There's only one thing which nurses do not cope with very well: hospitals which offshore nurses; i.e., bring in 3rd-world nurses. There is almost nothing they won't do -- trumping the nurses we believe so strongly in. Fortunately, this is a rare, rare situation.

    The group (en masse) which has virtually no accountability to the hospital is that which has a lot of M.D. and other related abbreviated diplomas and licenses. They rarely work directly for the hospital but instead, for a separate organization which more or less dovetails into hospitals' structures such that it's as if they are working for the hospital. The bridge is usually someone who works in a department labelled (or similarly labelled) Medical Affairs.

    Something hospital staff (including MDs, RNs[1], and even housekeeping have to be reminded of is not to talk about what they see, hear, or participate in or outside of the hospital. (re: patients) Most people would be surprised how much "indirect" shop talk takes place after a shift over a few drinks and even with specific clues left out, it's possible to identify whom they are talking about. What's worse is when they do it in the hallways or elevators and may be sharing hearing space with family or friends of the patient(s) they are discussing.

    [1] You'll notice I abhore using the "grocer's apostrophe" with acronyms. I hate seeing "MD's", "RN's", "PC's". It's gotten so bad people will post ads in real newspapers ala "Schedule Party's With Us!".

    Actually, the purpose for this footnote was to point out how many nurses and technicians (doctors don't seem to do it very much) say, "I'm headed to the OR|ER room".

  • I regret nothing! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rob T Firefly ( 844560 ) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @10:50PM (#15407042) Homepage Journal
    I do appreciate the value of discretion for people in these lines of work. However, I did silly things under pseudonyms for ages on the Internet - still do, actually - and it is pretty easily traceable to me in RL. And I've realized I don't regret any of it.

    I'm no intern, nor am I an up-and-coming executive. The sort of life I'm looking for and the "adult" lifestyle I pursue is one that's totally compatible with some random guy who makes bad jokes on message boards, produces cheaply done artwork, remixes pop music without permission, writes "Doctor Who" fanfic, is a member of a pagan coven, MCs cheezy presentations at hacker cons, and posts strange dreams to livejournal. I may not ever make partner in the prestigious XYZ firm, I may not ever break six figures, but I'll be somewhere doing something that is compatible with someone like me.

    So, having things on my "permanent record" like the stuff I've done with phonelosers.org or 2600 or whatever else is strangely liberating in its way, because it pretty much forces me into putting my money where my mouth is and seeking out a lifestyle I'd be happy in, rather than one I'll endure for the sake of appearances.

    Hi, my name is Rob, and I'm Googleable.

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson