Monday, September 11, 2006

Is Blogging Dangerous?

According to this post on Workz.com, blogging "has risks that should not be ignored." Author Sharon Housley contends that, due to the danger posed by cyberstalkers, "Females, in particular, should be cautious when circumnavigating the blogosphere."

What does she recommend? Tactics such as not posting an online profile or photo, posting anonymously, and avoiding any personal or identifying details.

Hmmm. While there are dangers in virtually any aspect of daily life, Housley's paranoia about blogging seems a bit overblown. The flaws in her argument should be obvious -- if she follows all of her own advice, how do we know that her post really was written by Sharon Housley? How do we know that she's really a marketing manager for a software company, or for that matter, that she's really a woman?

Blogs are given credibility by their authors. If readers know nothing about a blogger's background, they have no way of assigning credibility, or skepticism, to the author's arguments. Divas of the blogosphere such as Yvonne DiVita at Lip-Sticking, Anita Campbell at Small Business Trends, Sarah Eaton at BeTuitive and Ardath Albee at Marketing Interactions wouldn't have the readership or interest that they do if they posted anonymously and revealed no information about their intriguing and impressive backgrounds.

To be fair, Housley does make a couple of good points: avoid inappropriate dialogue, and remember that a blog post is forever: potential clients and employers may judge you years from now based on what you write in your blog today. My approach to this has been to simply avoid writing about people or products that don't impress me, and focus on the positive.

Interestingly, Housley's article was posted just shortly after another by Michael Murray titled "Five Ways a Blog Helps You to Market Your Business." This is a nicely written, concise summation of the benefits of business blogging.

In short, blogging is good for business. Creating a blog is more likely to draw patrons than predators, clients than creeps. It's always wise to apply some common sense when posting personal details or opinions, but paranoia seems unnecessary.

*****

Terms: dangers of blogging, business blogging, WorkZ.com, LipSticking, Marketing Interactions

The Web site promotion marketing portal: WebMarketCentral.com

Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentral.com

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