So. I Googled myself a minute ago (and doesn’t THAT sound naughty), first and last name. First item was my Google profile, second was my Flickr account, then Facebook, someone else’s MySpace (does anyone use that anymore?), my photo site, then my About.me, LinkedIn, and a couple of other things about somebody else. Second page, scrolling down I found a couple of UpTake articles and a bunch of other stuff not about me. My Imagekind site was at the top of the third page, another Uptake and a Beyond Megapixels article, and then FINALLY at the very bottom of the third page, Snerkology.
When I Googled just my first name, my Google profile shows up as the seventh item down on the first page.
My first point to all of this is that I am very easy to find. I used to be worried about that, because of all of the drama with my ex. But I’m THIS visible and he hasn’t seen fit to fuck with me. So I guess that means he ain’t gonna. Yay.
My second point to all of this is, employers now frequently use search engines such as Google to get information on prospective employees. Which made me wonder – from a potential employer’s (or client’s) standpoint, what do the search results say about me? Good things? Bad things? Indifferent things? That I spend way too much friggin’ time on the computer?
That last one, definitely. Also, that I’m comfortable with the word “fuck”.
Anyway. The internet has made it even EASIER to take things out of context. Judging without knowing all of the details. Thinking you “know” someone just because you read their blog. I am not the sum total of all of my on-line presences. That’s not even a fraction of who I am.
I do, though, present a bigger fraction to the Internet for their judgmental enjoyment than many people I know.
Over-sharing our personal life does not mean that we’re going to over-share in our professional life. So, prospective employer who found this entry via search engine, I can keep your corporate secrets, maintain clean language in the workplace, and be a good corporate citizen. Please consider that when you consider me.
And! Just because personal blogs are fraught with grammatical errors, with spelling and punctuation meant to EMPHASIZE AND DRAMATIZE, that doesn’t mean we don’t know how to clean it up, shape it up, and write within the rules. So, prospective freelance writing client, please consider that when you consider me.
Plus! I share photos on Flickr and on this site that I wouldn’t put within a mile of my personal portfolio. Just because I have taken bad pictures doesn’t mean I don’t know what I’m doing. Ask any photographer the ratio of good pics to bad pics that they have in their repertoire and I bet you’ll be surprised by the answer. Maybe one in ten? One in twenty? So, prospective photography client, please consider that when you consider me.
Some folks have written about how their blog (or some such personal website) either got them fired or prevented them from getting hired. Circumstances are always different in each scenario, but I do wonder if I’d even MISS the opportunity that passed me by, if my blog was the reason that it did.
This mini-soapbox popped into my head because of some bloggy drama I’ve been reading about on other sites. I know bloggers with WAY more traffic than I do have to deal with WAY more drama than I do (which is pretty much none at all). Having a blog doesn’t mean we have to tell you EVERYTHING. We’re not withholding information from YOU, personally, when we choose not to divulge something. Just because we’ve shared something personal, emotional, or even controversial doesn’t give you carte blanche to go all One Eyed Troll in the comments. And we can EVEN STOP WRITING ALTOGETHER FOR AS LONG AS WE WANT without having to get your permission first. If a blogger chooses to stop writing, or severely change the way he or she writes, because of employment concerns OR FOR ANY OTHER FRIGGIN’ REASON, that is their prerogative.
Obviously, none of this ranty goodness is aimed at any of my readers, all of whom are so darned pleasant and supportive and cool that I bet all the other blogs are jealous.
Thank God for you guys, is all I’m sayin’.