Friday, March 14, 2008

Managing Your Online Reputation

Blogging has opened a whole new world for those who want their voices to be heard. From the teenager writing about everyday angst to the politico hoping to sway the masses to the business person seeking new business, the blogging world has exploded in recent years.

Still, there are a lot of growing pains that go along with the written word. I should know, since I've been a journalist for more than 20 years. I received a college degree in journalism, and have worked with some of the top journalists in the country. It is part of the everyday fabric of a journalist's life to constantly question and assess sources and information and even our own personal biases when we put our hands on a computer keyboard.

Many bloggers have never had these discussions, and that makes sense. The medium has clearly outpaced the ability to discuss all the ramifications of what is written, but it's time we took a deep breath and did just that.

One of the people who thinks a look at blogging and the responsibilities that go with it is important is Liz Strauss at Successful and Outstanding Blog, considered by many to be one of the leading voices in the blogosphere. As part of her very popular SOBCON08 in Chicago on May 2-4, Liz has asked me to speak. My subject: "Managing Your Online Reputation – Avoiding Situations that Need Damage Control."

I'm going to spend some time in the coming weeks interviewing legal experts to get the latest scoop on the liabilities that go along with blogging, and I'll also explore some of the issues that journalists talk about every day: the personal responsibilities that go along with writing for the masses; how to best manage your influence and connections for the long term; and how to react when things go wrong.

If you'd like to find out more about the conference, you can also check out Jason Falls' video. If you're attending and want me to discuss a particular issue, let me know.


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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Babies a Morale Booster on the Job

I spent part of my afternoon yesterday sitting in my basement as the tornado sirens sounded, so I had plenty of time to contemplate what I wanted to put in this Tidbit Tuesday as I asked myself why I have four broken kitchen chairs, a screen door from a house we had 15 years ago and a lawnmower that hasn't run since Jimmy Carter was president.

Baby on board: In the never-ending debate about balancing work and family demands, Time magazine has a story on some offices that allow parents to bring their babies to work, especially as more women move into upper-tier positons. One opponent of such pratices says it's "totally inappropriate," while another notes "I don't think a baby is more distracting that talk about Dancing With the Stars or your weekend." Still , one study suggests that having babies around doesn't affect productivity and can boost morale among colleagues.

Unmasking bloggers: Should bloggers be required to give their real names when they post anything to the Internet? That's the debate raging, as some contend that whistleblowers would never expose any wrongdoings if they had to use their real names, and no employees would feel free to blog for fear of losing their jobs. Many newspapers require that any letters to the editor be verified for real names and addresses, but some contend that some letter writers have legitimate fears about being exposed. Still, the amount of snarky and hateful comments by anonymous posters have led many to believe that if you're going to post such comments, you should have to put your real name behind them.

You crack me up: According to a Ritz Cracker Fun-analysis (who knew?) survey of 1,000 people nationwide, fun is vital to all aspects of our lives, especially when it comes to the workplace. Their findings:

• 84 percent of employed people say they have a lot of fun at work
• 77 percent of employed people say the ability to have fun is an important part of choosing a job
• 42 percent say having fun at work is more important than making good money.
A whopping 69 percent of full and part-time employees agree that their boss is fun.

Now, pass the crab dip and get back to work.


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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Blogging notice

I am new to the blogging world, but I have to say it's been a very gratifying experience so far.

I originally started my blog as a way to facilitate discussions among those interested in improving their experiences at work or boosting their careers. I also thought it would be a good chance to build a community of people who support one another and offer advice on various workplace dilemmas or issues.

I've already been interviewed by two bloggers about my book, "45 Things You Do That Drive Your Boss Crazy...and How to Avoid Them." One of the bloggers was in the U.S. -- the other in Pakistan. To me, it's amazing how quickly communities of people come together under a blog, and how they support one another, argue with each other and discuss various issues. Sort of like when families get together at the holidays!

So, I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce you to two bloggers who, I think, have blogs worth checking out and learning from. Two blogs that have interviews with me:

At the same time, I'd like to hear from anyone who is using a blog to further a career. What do you think is important to include on your blog, and what should you avoid? What advice could you offer to others about blogging?

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