A Reminder To Think Before Submitting - InformationWeek

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IoT
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Infrastructure // PC & Servers
Commentary
4/15/2009
08:25 PM
Allen Stern
Allen Stern
Commentary
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A Reminder To Think Before Submitting

Last November I posted an article titled, "Always Think Before You Submit." It seems it's time for a refresher.

Last November I posted an article titled, "Always Think Before You Submit." It seems it's time for a refresher.With more and more job losses reported every single day, it's shocking to me that people who are employed are willing to go on record saying things that just seem out of place. More importantly, these comments become part of a person's "permanent Internet record" and will travel with them forward. Most employers run Internet searches for candidates - why would anyone want to risk losing a potential job by sharing a photo, video or piece of text that crosses the employment line? With more applicants per job than ever before, make sure you don't lose the job before you even enter the interview.

Last weekend I was browsing the social aggregator Friendfeed and read a message from a person who started a new job this week. First he noted that he hadn't showered and even took a photo to display his facial expression to not taking a shower. Then he went on to post that his drive was longer and he had to get up earlier for this new job. If I was the new employer, I would be wondering why I hired this guy. Do I really want someone working for me who before he even starts with the company is already moaning about external factors?

Now another person on Twitter has regretted posting about their job thinking that their post would only be seen by their group of followers. Services like Twitter index each comment nearly immediately and add it to their search engine which means anyone can search on the content. And I've also learned that even if you block your content so only your followers can view it, there appears to be ways to view that content as well. In addition, just because you block your updates, does not stop one of your followers who has a public profile from sharing the content and thereby making it public as well.

Friendfeed seems to be the most popular place to post emotional items for a number of reasons. First, Friendfeed aggregates all of the other social services so if you post a tweet on Twitter, it will be syndicated on Friendfeed. Second, because Friendfeed is a threaded forum, it allows people to emotionally post and then receive feedback which is what most of us want when we emotionally share items. While you may see celebrities and Internet celebrities sharing content with no regard, the majority of us can't and/or shouldn't.

It's easy to delete a Tweet or message on Friendfeed but many times the "damage" has already been done. I put damage in quotes because the content is indexed for search engines nearly instantly and who knows what readers have captured the content for later use. In addition, comments on blogs are almost never editable and require the blog owner to edit - something that the blog owner may not always be willing to do.

Always assume that anything you say on an Internet forum, blog or messaging service is public and live. Don't risk your current job or a future job by posting something emotionally which you may regret later.

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