Workplace Experts and Novices Share in the Blogosphere
Sunday, July 31, 2005
Frustration inspired Redante Asuncion Reed, 34, to start his blog about the realities of being a liberal arts grad in the job market.
His site, http:/
With people blogging about every other aspect of their lives, it's no surprise that many of them turn their attention to the workplace. Workplace blogs include intensely personal tales of woe and triumph, collections of news about the workplace, and advice from "experts" on a variety of topics.
Blogs of the first type are too numerous to list and rarely noteworthy. If you're curious, though, pull up some random sites on Livejournal, http:/
If news is more your thing, check out the Job Blog sponsored by the Boston Globe. That site, http:/
Finally, there are plenty of advice blogs out there, and many of them are quite good. The official blog for the Future of Work, http:/
Reed's site could best be described as a mix of those types -- lots of news, a few book reviews and stories from his own struggles to gain a foothold in the job market.
Thinking about your own work-related blog? Here are a few tips to get you started and keep you out of trouble:
· Find a niche. You're more likely to build an audience of dedicated readers if you narrow your field rather than trying to write about everything. A narrow focus will also make it more likely that search engines such as Google will steer the right people toward your site. Reed said one of the most common ways people find his site is through searching for any combination of the words "liberal arts degrees," "worthless" and "frustration."
· Get linked. Reed tracks his viewers through the use of SiteMeter and counts other bloggers among his most loyal readers. The best way to increase the number of people linking to you is to offer to link to them in return. If you come across other blogs related to yours, send the writers e-mails asking to be included in their blog rolls. Commenting on other people's blogs will also help you build up your name recognition on the Web.
· Update often. The fresher your content is, the more frequently you'll get visitors. More frequent updates will be more time-consuming, of course. Reed said he posts new articles every two weeks, which is an eon in blog time. (My own attempts at blogging have always fallen short on this, too.)
· Don't get too personal. Resist the urge to chronicle the daily happenings in your office. Chances are, they're not that interesting to anyone but you, but they can definitely get you in trouble. You should assume that every past, present and future colleague or potential employer will read every word of your blog. That doesn't mean sugarcoat everything, though, Reed said. "You have to walk a fine line between revealing the truth" and keeping yourself out of trouble.
Did you gain or lose weight at your first job out of college? How did you react? If you're willing to share your story for a column on the subject, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Join Mary Ellen Slayter at 2 p.m. Aug. 5 for Career Track Live, an online discussion of issues affecting young workers, athttp:/