Tim Bray reckons it’s not dangerous to run a blog. This post runs contrary to the spate of posts and articles about how bloggers have been fired because of their blogs.
His post has been received with a degree of scepticism which is understandable given the stream of stories about people like Mark Jen who have lost their jobs as a result of their blogs (or what they said about their employers on their blogs). The scepticism is well founded so it is worthwhile noting that Bray makes a few assumptions before listing the reasons why blogging can actually be good for your career prospects:
Let’s assume that you’re reasonably competent, reasonably coherent, and
Cynicism aside, a substantial majority of the people in the workplace
Blogging clearly isn’t going to help that proportion of people who aren’t
really up to their job, or who are prone to inarticulate flaming, or
But then, those people tend to have career problems anyhow.
Put it another way: not blogging won’t protect you from career-limiting
moves, and if blogging provokes one, well, you were probably going
to do it anyhow.
It does begin to make sense. I don’t believe that it automatically follows that just because you have a blog that you will find yourself without a job. If you are going to run a blog, then do it responsibly. This is a lesson bloggers who have been fired have learned pretty quickly. If you want examples, just take a look at Michael Hanscom at eclecticism, Jeremy Wright at Ensight and Mark Jen himself. Anyway, the reasons why blogging can actually be good for your career prospects are:
- You have to get noticed to get promoted.
- You have to get noticed to get hired.
- It really impresses people when you say “Oh, I’ve written about that,
just google for XXX and I’m on the top page?? or “Oh, just google my
- No matter how great you are, your career depends on communicating.
The way to get better at anything, including communication, is by practicing.
Blogging is good practice.
- Bloggers are better-informed than non-bloggers.
Knowing more is a career advantage.
- Knowing more also means you’re more likely to hear about interesting
jobs coming open.
- Networking is good for your career. Blogging is a good way to meet
- If you’re an engineer, blogging puts you in intimate contact with a
worse-is-better 80/20 success story. Understanding this mode of
technology adoption can only help you.
- If you’re in marketing, you’ll need to understand how its rules are
changing as a result of the current whirlwind, which nobody does, but
bloggers are at least somewhat less baffled.
- It’s a lot harder to fire someone who has a public voice, because
it will be noticed.