You may have noticed that I haven’t blogged much recently. Or at all.
(I wonder what percentage of blog posts are of the type “Sorry I have’t blogged much recently but my uber exciting life has got in the way”?)
Why so silent? I have to admit, the cat’s got my tongue. I still have things I want to say but I didn’t know if I should, could or how, then I became rusty and lost my voice. It’s a vicious cycle of over thinking.
There are many reasons why the blogging stopped, some of which need explaining.
The company I work for has embraced social media, mainly twitter but there are also some spiffing YouTube videos out there with backing tracks that IN NO WAY resemble 1970s porn music.
As you no doubt know I’m rather fond of crafting the odd tweet, but should I interact with the corporate twitter accounts – accounts talking about one of the most important things in my life, our product family? What if a client sees me retweeting something important, looks at my feed and realises that, yes, my guilty secret is occasionally watching XFactor and tweeting about it? Or my amdram obsession? Would YOU let your mission critical software be written by a person who obsessively posts pictures of food?
Or, would you rather engage a company who employs faceless drones? Is it better to just not know?
Should we be as professional as we would be in a client meeting at all times, or does that come across as dull and, at worst, fake? That’s certainly an attribute you never want to have in people you employ.
I have always been of the opinion that you should never put anything online that you wouldn’t say to anyone face-to-face. This was a pretty good rule of thumb in the 90s when everyone wasn’t hyper-connected but now, everything feels much more traceable.
As an example, let’s say I post a tweet linking to a photo in my flickr stream, the previous photo was of me out with friends, one of which is tagged, the client follows that tag to the other persons flickr stream, and then there’s a picture of me in their stream doing something not development related like, oh I don’t know, drinking? Dancing? Playing video games? In a church? Basically doing – well, anything that isn’t development – and potentially something that the viewer finds offensive.
I don’t feel the need to keep my life a secret, or anything I do – if I do it, well, it’s me, take all of me or none of me – even if that means accepting that I’ve sat in classy bars knitting….
But what if this picture of a complete person ever reflects back badly on my employers rather wonderful product?
(Warning: this next paragraph may not be fashionable, it certainly isn’t cool and it may even make you a little nauseous.)
I adore my company’s product. Our main product is spectacularly powerful – (working) life changingly powerful. It can revolutionise oganisations. I truly do not know how people live day to day without it – or something like it. And I never want to reflect badly on it.
When I was employed about in April 2005 employers only needed to worry about their employees during the working day. As long as they turned up, looked smart, worked hard, and didn’t do something so spectacuarly stupid that they end up in the tabloids and brought the company into disrepute everything was peachy. Now employer’s have to consider their people’s online identities. Or do they? And should they?
So, I’ve been quiet, trying not to scare off that most timid of beasts – the new corporate account runners, but enough is enough.
I am not just a developer, I am a whole person.
I live, love, cook, dream – and I’m back.