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Out of the closet

Yesterday I blogged about Robin Hamman's quotes on the value of blogging. But inspiring though they were, I think there is also a clear dicothomy between professional identity, i.e. the jargon and structures we've been trained to think in as professionals, and blogging, which is why blogging as 'career enhancement' is a bit counterintuitive – and sometimes it is quite the opposite.

"We have been trained throughout our business careers to suppress our individual voice and to sound like a 'professional', that is to sound like everyone else. This professional voice is distinctive. And weird. Taken out of context it is as mannered as the ritualistic dialogues of the 17-century French court, " David Weinberger writes in Cluetrain, whereas blogging, as Adriana says: "starts with identity", personal identity.

The blogs I enjoy the most are informative and/or funny, but they all, to a greater or lesser extent, have personal touch – you can see the personality and/or the professional passion between the lines. A polished impersonal sales pitch, or corporate spin, makes me loose interest instantly.

But a personality driven blog often clashes with a persons professional persona, which means many a blogger either live in constant fear for being 'outed' as a blogger in their professional arena, or their blogs are as personal as their CVs. This is one reason why, as Bloggers Anonymous humorously describes it, a lot of bloggers start writing anonymously and 'go public' only when they reach 'A-list-status'.

And 'going public' isn't always welcome in all quarters. Some will vividly remember how Vampus, voted Norway's best blogger by Dagbladet, discovered that high profile political commentary and campaigning was less than compatible with a 'straight' job. Her call for all bloggers to stand up for freedom of speech during the 'Cartoon War' can hardly be said to have enhanced her career in marketing, but then I have a suspicion she much prefers her current career path.

Oh, and since blogging can be quite addictive, I imagine many bloggers reach a stage where they simply do not care whether they're outed and disowned anymore. And for those who have reached that stage and gone beyond, maybe lost jobs, reputations and loved ones, there is always Bloggers Anonymous....


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