Saturday, November 7, 2009

Job/Blog Confidentiality

It's a tricky issue. Because I am no longer in school and the museum-related ideas I have are tied to my paying jobs, the issue of confidentiality has come up. On the one hand, I enjoy tackling challenges and coming up with new ideas at each of my (many) jobs. I'd like to be able to write about those issues here.

On the other hand, there are too many horror stories in the blogging world of people fired for their personal blogs, never mind their professional ones. Would I be taking a risk by writing about the details of my work at various historical organizations?

A few museum professional friends and I were discussing this very thing at lunch this week. It's a hard issue to penetrate, due to the as-yet-unestablished rules regarding blogging in the museum world. Unlike the tech world, where professionals have been utilizing Web 2.0 social technologies in their work for so long that it's passe to even say "Web 2.0," the museum world is still easing into this technological media thing slowly.

So where does that leave those of us who, by chance or design, have ended up slightly ahead of that curve? At last year's NEMA conference, one of the session panels included a gentleman from Connecticut who started a blog about his attempt to visit every single museum in CT. Now - this, I think, is wonderful. And in a way, I'm jealous of his ability to be completely candid in his opinions of the museums he visits. I am not, however, confident that it's entirely wise for me to do the same.

If you look to the right sidebar of the blog, you can read the disclaimer that I set up for myself when I first began in January 2008. I figured this was a way to mention where I worked in the course of writing the blog without assigning any culpability to those organizations when it came to what I posted here. That system seems to have worked until now, but I'm chafing a bit when it comes to really digging into the work that I do day to day in various museums. I'll continue to ponder this issue (and I welcome any feedback) and let you know what I eventually decide to do.

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