This morning I had some time free after finally wrangling with the computer and e-mail and hopefully getting things sorted out (for now), and caught up with reading some articles that had come in a regular weekly e-mail that contains interesting news stories, snippets, etc. One of the articles that piqued my interest was one entitled Teachers speak out of turn, which was written by Greg Toppo and appeared on www.usatoday.com.
The article was about teachers blogging, and some who have been fired for their blogging activities (including a young teacher who got fired for writing about having to teach wood shop without any equipment). It reminded me of something I read earlier in the year about a blogger who used the name La Petite Anglaise, who lost her job for keeping a blog (which wasn't about her work and apparently she only wrote it a couple of times at work).
Found some "stats" on fired bloggers, too, which is a bit weird. There was another link to not only those who've been fired, but also people who have been declined jobs because they keep a blog (even non-offensive ones) and bloggers whose lives have come under threat because of writing (these tended to be in countries such as India, Iran, Egypt, etc), but I failed to copy it down. C'est la vie.
A lot of bloggers do it under their real names, and more and more are high-profile individuals. We get politicians doing blogs, celebrity bloggers, celeberity-spotting bloggers, artists, etc. Of course, blogs are not your run-of-the-mill diary in which you scribble your innermost thoughts before locking and hiding under a mattress or whatever. They're a public forum and as such do attract public attention, regardless of how obscure you may think the little corner you occupy in the blogging world may be.
However, it does seem a little odd for there to be such a level of backlash regarding blogs. Yes, there is a point if your blog is defamatory for your work, people at it, etc, but if it's just a day-to-day run of the mill thing (as Petite Anglaise's is), it begs the question of fairness. Millions of people keep a blog - there are more than 50 million of 'em on Technorati. More and more pop up each day.
But I guess it does serve as a warning to be careful what you say, where you say it and how you say it. Blogs ain't really the place to be spilling your guts, I suppose.