I've been blogging about my job for about a year and a half without anyone even having a clue that I'm doing it. At least my own paranoid "Cog-sense" hasn't picked up any danger (it's like Spidey-sense, but much more pathetic).
I came up with some rules early on before I even started the blog and put a lot of thought into how I could rant about this place without getting caught. There are more and more anonymous work bloggers out there, and people thinking about setting up a work blog. I'd like to give you some suggestions and ideas to keep you from blogging about unemployment, instead of fighting the good fight from inside the belly of the corporate beast. Together, we can give bad corporations indigestion, and be a voice of conscience for good corporations.
Many of these are very simple, and go without saying, but as much as I respect you all, I never like to assume the intelligence of anyone. If there weren't people buying the Weekly World News and believing in Trickle Down Economics, maybe I wouldn't be so cynical. Many of these may seem extra paranoid, but this is written by a man whose favorite books are 1984 and Fahrenheit 451, so I assume you will take all of this with a grain of salt.
1. Check your company's policies on blogging, check it through the web site or publications. I wouldn't go asking a lot of questions of the H.R. department or your supervisor if you work for assholes-remember, you need to keep your head down if you are going to pull this off.
2. Never, ever, ever, blog from work. At least don't blog to the site that tells of the evil of your company. If you want to set up a decoy blog that tells of the wonders of your company, but hey,that's your call, it seems sort of schizophrenic to me...
3. Make sure that you date and time stamp your blogs in such a way that no one can determine your schedule, either change the dates, and times, or do like I do, use the same time for every post.
4. Get an email address that you use only for things related to your blog. Do not have it forward to your primary address, or you may reply using your "real" identity. The truth is email has more tracking abilities than your posting does. Like an IP address, it is possible to get a geographic location from an email message besides when it was opened. There are more secure email systems that hackers use if you are really paranoid. Go to google and check this out. Use the same caution with your email that you do with posting, only check your email away from work and at certain times. If you want a Gmail account, drop me a line. I will delete your real address after I send you your gmail invitation.
5. Don't tell anyone at work that you are doing this. Don't even hint at it. You have no idea what a blog is and you certainly don't keep one. This will be very hard. When everyone else is ranting about what a stupid place you work at, you will be very tempted to say something. Don't do it!
6. You will probably tell someone. Check them out first. The world is incredibly small and people talk a lot. The less people that know the better, if nothing else, make sure they aren't local or that you can count them on less than three fingers.
7. Keep your home computers clean. Find a secure place to keep your blog files and favorites. We let other people use our computers all the time. You know they are going to poke around, just like some digital version of your medicine cabinet.
8. Ask yourself what you are trying to accomplish. Are you a whistle-blower? Are you an amateur journalist trying to expose the evils of your company from the inside? Or do you just need to rant? How much are you willing to risk here? For me, I started the blog not only to rant, but to help change the way people think about bigger issues related to call centers and the nature of work as a whole. I am not willing to try to change my company, I don't think its worth it. That's the decision you've got to make.
9. After you answer that question, then decide how much you will share. What events and people will be easily recognized? How much will you change to protect yourself? Just using people's first initials is probably not enough. Don't put yourself in harm's way unless you are ready to take a hit.
10. Writing a sensational blog to get you a bunch of hits is good, but not if you lose your job in the process. Be disciplined in how important you allow your blog to become in your life. Don't take yourself too seriously. There are things outside of your blog that are much more important.
Thanks for reading,
For more info on blogging anonymously about work, check out Ian MacAllen's essay "Blogging with a Rubber".
Purgatory: A place of suffering and torment with an unknown duration. In Roman Catholic Theology-the place where the dead are purified from their sins.
By Rage Against The Machine