Many people assume their blog is read only by people they know. However, this is often not the case and a recent story about the dismissal of a secretary over her blog writing proves that.
There are disputes regarding the bloggers legal rights and speculations on the "fine line between an individual's private online writings and their public work persona". The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published detailed tips on how to stay anonymous and advises against blogging in work time.
But shouldn't we just follow one simple tip: respect.
Blogging is selfish by nature, since the blogger's primary objective is to express himself to the world regardless whether the world wants it or not. A respectful attitude rules out the blogger's selfish behaviour.
This ruling looks as simple as that: before publishing another masterpiece, just pause for a second and ask yourself a couple of questions, such as: "Who are the people I'm going to mention/ refer to in my post? Would they like to go public?"
When I say "people", I mean not only collegues, bosses and other characters from the one's "public" life, but also close friends, family, relatives. And when I say "post", I mean not only stories about personal and public life (including job), but also comments, photos and jokes - they might look innocent for you but have another meaning for the others.
Different people tolerate different level of public exposure, and I think this is what bloggers should remember first, before starting to worry about copyrights, defamation or the employer's bad publicity.