I encourage everyone to share their good and bad experiences when it comes to jobs, and life in general. A good friend saved me from continuing at one of my previous jobs when she explained to me in myspace blog post about what happened to her when she moved up in the company and ended up at the corporate office. At that point I knew I had no business striving to reach that level and it saved me a lot of time and effort. I was telling Sara about a site on the net that focus on sharing gossip and rumors, and another site that focused on whistleblowing about bad corporate activities, and she told me that there was some bad news about these sites recently. I told her how surprised I was that they have been under so much scrutiny given the free speech guarantees that we are supposed to have in this country.
Wikileaks recently had a court order to shut down, but i think the whistleblowing site will return and the court proceedings should pave the way for other sites like it to stay afloat without challenge. The college rumor site juicycampus.com has gotten some bad press, but my hope is that people will wake up and learn to take thins they read online, and hear in person for that matter, with a grain of salt. I know that there is a whole industry of forensic web people out there that scour the internet looking for information about companies online, trying to protect the reputation of businesses from being tarnished by people posting information on web sites. While I see the value of this type of work, I think sometimes these places go to far in their tactics for changing information that has been posted. I mean if someone finds a ranting blog post on a myspace about xyz company or person for that matter, surely adults can know in their mind that the post is only half the story, and it is one person’s view of events. I seriously doubt that someone will come across a random anonymous post and decide that they shouldn’t invest in something.
The power of technology and the internet should not be limited with frivolous cease and desist letters and law suits and malicious prosecutions, all limiting free speech. People should be adults and consider all angles and makeup their minds by the credibility and amount of posts. If you read something that is anonymous, you take it with a grain of salt. If you read something on CNN.com from Larry King, well, you take that for what that is. Heck a lot of people today don’t even believe what the mainstream media reports, why should eveyone be freaking out about what is posted on a no name site with no credible author?
Perhaps this will be the decade where people learn to toughen up their listening skills. Already you see a big movement on digg.com where people will demand references and sources before buying into any story. Now if we can just get the rest of the world to wake up, demand proof, take everything with a grain of salt, and stop listening to gossip so much. I do believe that listening to gossip encourages it. When someone is talking about someone to you, be sure that they will be talking about to someone else later, and probably in a similar scandalous tone.
So use technology to spread the word, use sources when you can. If you must write anonymously be sure not to include any details that will get you found out through a process of elimination. If you are going to hate on something keep it real, and realize that when other people are hating, often they are only telling part of the truth.