To blog or not to blog in public
John Robb, who's been publishing his blog under his name for quite some time, gives wannabee bloggers some controversial advice, i.e. Don't Blog in Public:
Open note to people who are thinking about writing a public weblog: it will, in the vast majority of cases, impair your chances of getting your next job. If you do start one, don't put your name on it (anywhere). If you do, it will likely cost you economically for the rest of your life.
His stance sounds quite manichean to me and as usual the issue isn't just black and white. Of course you need to be careful about your publications because the internet has an awfully long memory, but I remain optimistic about the positive side of blogging, such as increasing your visibility, your network and get new opportunities. I've experienced all of that since I started this blog, so my experience is the opposite of what John depicts. Plus I'm an engineer, I belong to one of those technical communities where communicating with your peers is a necessity, part of the normal (even expected) behavior, and there is no mystery why they are over-represented amongst the "oldest" bloggers. Doing that anonymously would be counter-productive, if not ridiculous.
Surely, there are things I've published here (and probably more on my French blog, which is more personal than this one) that can irk some visitors, but then they are not likely to be the kind of people I want to do business with anyway. Being upfront and open is a conscious choice for me, or more correctly a natural trait of my personality, and I see no reason why I should act differently in public wether it's face to face or on the web. Or may be I'm just fed up with the "politically correct" world of faceless masks with corporate suits, and the blogs are a new haven where I can breeze some fresh oxygen. Something tells me I'm not the only one looking for a change to the conventional wisdom that to be happy, you'd better remain hidden.