Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Thoughts on some words of wisdom (or knowing when not to post)

Before I go on, thanks to Walt Crawford of Cites and Insights who recently named this blog as one deserving of more attention in his Cites and Insights 6.5 (find the PDF here). If any readers made it this far as a result of that, welcome. I am still making my way through the issue, and it turns out there is another one.

At any rate, on to the subject of this post. In the C&I issue noted above, Walt brings back an earlier note from a post at his Walt at Random blog for April 19, 2005. It seemed very timely for me since my recent post on the blogger's pledge and some thinking I have been doing lately. Here is the paragraph:

"There's a lot to be said for responses not posted, and blog essays never blogged. Writing it down is great as a safety valve. Submitting it for anyone else to see is frequently pointless (and sometimes dangerous). Back before ubiquitous 'communications' paths, the safety valve was just writing down something and crumpling it up, and the danger of overcommunication was limited by the difficulty of reaching beyond your friends."

Indeed. For a few years now, I have kept a personal journal. One of the ways in which I use it is as a safety valve, for when there are things I would like to say, but I know I am better off not saying them. Sometimes whatever the issue is not worth it. Other times, it is a matter of keeping silent to avoid hurting someone. I should note I am not as worried about giving offense, but I do try to avoid offending when I can. Sometimes I will start a post, even typing it in here, only to hit delete, or printing it out (but not posting it) to then clip to the journal. Other times, I will just write over there. Very often I see some posts out there in the blogosphere that I wonder what moved people to take the risk. At any rate, there is a joy to things not posted or blogged. There is something to that little saying about silence being golden. Sometimes, I think, you can say a lot more by your silence than by actually saying anything. Anyhow, just a thought.


Matthew said...

I kinda get it. But I do not think of blogging as risk taking. I talk about the profession and what i'd like it to be.

Its hard to say that I don't write anything work related, because I do write about libraries, and I work in one. But I do not reference things in my office, my coworkers, etc.

I did once upon a time - but learned quickly not to. I'm a big city blogger, and as librarians do, my blog came up.

As long as you are not guilty of saying illegal things (libel, defimation of character, etc)we have legs to stand on.

At will states do not need a reason to dismiss employees.

I think if you don't know if you should post, you shouldn't even blog. Whats the point? Keep a journal.

Blogs are vanity presses in a sense. I like to share ideas and get feedback from my small community.

I think of it more as a non syndicated column of library manners.


Angel, librarian and educator said...

Matthew: Welcome and thanks for stopping by. Like you, I don't reference workplace stuff, at least not specifically by name. I mean, if an experience may have a general application, like something I did in a teaching session, sure. But otherwise, no, that is out.

Yea, if you have to wonder about posting in that sense, one probably should not do it. I do keep a journal precisely for those moments when you may want to "choke" someone, but it would be preferable not to. Interesting idea of a blog as a syndicated column of library manners. I wonder what others would say. Just curious.

Best, and keep on blogging.