Over Blogging? Published 2006-03-25

In writing the previous post TiVo for the Web, I did a blog search at Technorati using the name of one of my clients. This kind of search is often done to see what is being written about an institution. In the process of looking at some of the results, I stumbled upon a blog by one of my client's faculty members. What interested me were the details revealed about this person's contract with the school and his/her personal life.

There have been many articles and posts discussing the issue of students chronicling their lives and potential consequences. (See "What you say online could haunt you", "Big Brother is Reading Your Blog", and "Twenty Calif. Students Suspended over Web Site") My thoughts are to any responsibility that educators have regarding blog postings. As an administrator, do you want the details of an employee's contract so public? As a teacher, do you want your kids (or their parents) reading about your personal life?

I am a big proponent for protection of free speech. I am still struggling with the idea of colleges using online postings in their admission decision making process. But as a department head, I would have read a candidate's blog in an effort to know more about the candidate.

I don't see this as a free speech issue but more a personal responsibility issue. We have the right to put our thoughts on the web. But do you really want your students reading about your sex life?

I would like to hear/read what you think.


pete w. said...

We had a similar issue with a new teacher who just finished college. Unfortunately, it was some of the students who found the teacher's blog. It became a bit of an embarrassment and event though the teacher took the comments off of the blog, printed versions continued to circulate in the student body.