PLEASE READ THIS:
Let me clarify that (1) this is NOT a rant or a complaint, (2) the post was taken down willingly. No law or employee rules were broken. I'm discussing this as an issue relevant to blogging. Besides, a few people have asked me about it, so I'm pre-empting any unnecessary speculation.
OK, preamble over -- I'm referring to my previous post about some ungracious library users. (To those who didn't get a chance to read it, too bad. I've had comments that it was a fun piece).
The details of why the post was "discomforting" isn't the issue here. What I'm sharing are the thoughts that I went through. I view this as part of continual learning.
So what did I learn or observe from this episode?
1) If you are prepared to post it, also be prepared to take it down -- I decided to take it down because it was making some people at work uncomfortable (no, things didn't get ugly. All very civil). It was an easy decision for me to take down the post. Basically it had the potential of being blown out of proportion so you could say it was a "tactical withdrawal".
2) The "Principles of Pragmatism" works for me -- meaning, if I write about work, I have to give weightage to the opiniions my colleagues and employer. The post was meant to be entertaining and informative but if it made people uncomfortable, it's better to take it down.
3) This is no blog-crusade -- It's all an experiment. And in experiments, you need to step back, evaluate, review, and try again.
4) "Blog Smart" applies to the post, and after -- It occured to me that Microsoft's "Blog Smart" guideline for its blogging employees makes sense here. Being "smart" means that sometimes, to advance forward, you gotta take two steps back.
5) It would really help if the organisation had some guidelines on blogging -- that way, we cut down the "gray" areas, reduce subjectivity and ambiguity, increase clarity etc. It all adds up to productivity and empowering the employee.
6) In my case, not being anonymous helped! I think matters would have been worse if I blogged anonymoysly. Being upfront (about what I was blogging about, and who I was) helped prevent pointless prying and speculations over who wrote what. "Honesty is the best policy" is what I learnt from young.
7) If you don't dare to put your name to the post, you're probably better off not posting it. Enough said.
Oh, I'm IMing with a librarian from Sugargrove PL right now (Ms. B). Incidentally, she mentioned my post. We were discussing if a post like mine could have painted the library in a bad light. Here's an excerpt of what she shared (posted with permission):
it is a fine balance.
so many "Professional" lists dis-the customer and in the back room we each share stories. all under the "need to know" this situation and how i dealt with it heading.
it is likely (that the post was) too close to personal with the photos and too public for the comfort level of some.
all that said I STILL loved it. hope it wasn't too UGLY for you at work
Yeah, I thought it was a fun piece too. And no Ms B., things didn't "get ugly" at all. As I said, it was all very civil. I guess librarians tend to be that way : )