Friday, February 11, 2005

Heart, work and blogs

This post of Bob's surprised me. As anybody who has read my blog knows I have nothing but admiration for Robert Scoble. I would link to if he worked in a gas station, because he is a long time friend and he has great things to say! Last night we saw the "famous" Mark Jen, the guy who got fired from Google for what he blogged. Robert said:'s not generally accepted to talk about personal details like salary (and I can think of a whole raft of such issues like religion, sexual orientation, political persuasion, personal lifestyles, etc) in public spaces.

 I have learned a lot from Robert, but this is not something I agree with. Salary yes, that is information that is part of the confidential relationship between you and your boss. The other stuff no! Your blog is not the work break room, it is not a work site meeting room! I posted this reply to his blog:

If personal branding means I have to stop speaking about my opinions on politics, love/sex/relationships (after all that is what sexual orientation is about) and/or religion then I would rather not blog. If blogging is about creating relationships and/or having conversations, what is the point if so much is off the table?
My blog is a channel, like the TV, folks are free to turn it off.

 Is getting an audience so important that we gotta be our own censors? If we can't go to the window and yell out, "I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore." Then, we have let our bosses become Big Brother. Man, that is Google Juice I don't want to drink.

I have been worried that I may be copping out by not posting all my posts about personal topics? I have been concerned about things I feel are injustices and yet I have been holding back my opinions for fear of causing the kind of effect Buzz Bruggeman talked about when, on Thursday, he talked about a person commenting to his blog that he liked what Buzz had to say about tech, but disagreed with his political beliefs, and was going to pray for him. I think that is in Gillmor's book. If a person refuses to do business with me because of my politics or what I say about religion, etc., to heck with them!

Bruggeman is a great guy, a fantastic story teller, a communicator who has lots of professional and personal things to say. Buzz talks about his holiday depression. One of the most moving posts I have ever read is this one by Dori Smith.

Robert, I know you mentioned last night about Dori being an inspiration of yours, I agree, what Dori wrote here inspired me. It starts out with this:

Thirty years ago today, I tried to kill myself. I took what I was later told was 2-3 the number of Tuinals required. Obviously, I lived, but every November 3rd I try to take stock of my life and think about its quality, and particularly so on the five and ten year anniversaries.

I think weblogs are more than the establishment of a personal brand, more than what happens at work. When we go home and talk about religion to our friends that is a personal conversation. When we blog we are having a personal conversation with the world. Yes we may be talking about what we do for a living. I believe we need to be passionate about work, but we are also passionate about the rest of life and the people in our lives. I loved this post by Renee Blodgett.

I took a long, long walk today on the beach alone and on the way back to the house, picked a colorful batch of wild flowers. As simple as it sounds, it was the best thing I've done in a month.

That said a lot to me about how much we can miss if we don't take a break to enjoy life. I think we need to pick flowers as well as work. And if we are mad as hell and we want to blog about it, our blog is our window to yell out of.

In my opinion blogging (including videoblogging and podcasting) is this, it is all Robert talked about at SJSU and it is more. To me blogging is a giant collaborative cultural auto-biography written in real time by the subjects of the story. We all get to write and link our life stories. This is something truly and absolutely new to the human experience.

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