Your Online Presence

I was reading the New York Times article “For Some, Online Persona Undermines a Résumé” and started wondering how a potential employer might reflect on my online persona. So I went out and did a search on Google for Jim Mathies to see what I could find. The first page of results are primarily to my web site, old posts to news groups and email lists from around 2000, and reviews of my old shareware popup blocker for Internet Explorer. Nothing here to be concerned about although I wish I had never made this sarcastic comment on Danny Ayer’s blog. 🙂 Overall though most of it is either comments on blogs, or comment and links back to my blog entries. Nothing here I think I need to be concerned about. I did come across this little gem – a ZD Net UK article quoting me from my blog regarding the release of Google Pack,

Software consultant and tech blogger Jim Mathies was even more critical of Google Pack. “This initial version of Google Pack is an embarrassment to the company. It’s just a mess,” he said in his blog on Monday.

I found this a little unsettling. No one from ZD Net ever contacted me about the quote and a quick view of my blog post shows that they actually incorrectly attributed a statement by Paul Thurrott that I was quoting as my own statement. So I guess that even if your careful what you say on your blog it’s always possible that somebody is going to twist it around incorrectly> There’s nothing you can do about that, you just have to hope any interested readers do their due diligence.

As far as my blog content goes, I suppose there’s some risk in putting yourself out there. I’ve rarely commented on politics, something I decided a while back I would try to avoid all together in blogging. If there’s one area that could possibly get you passed over it’s conflicting political opinion between you and a perspective employer. (Although this defensive note on FOX News might ruffle a few feathers, I doubt it’s enough to get me passed over even if the perspective employer or recruiter is a hard core FOX News hater.) In general though I feel the few political posts I’ve made show my middle of the road stance.

I occasionally post pictures of beautiful women, I wonder if a feminist recruiter would take offense to my “Too Sexy” comments? Objectifying women? Oops. Maybe I should be more careful.

Most of my posts are, naturally, about technology. I spend a great deal of time either praising or deriding gadgets and software. If anything this should help insure anyplace I work will have similar views, which I would think would be a good thing.

In other places people would find that I’m a big fan of the Denver Broncos, that I’m currently developing an killer new RSS Reader in .NET, that I like Pamela Anderson, and that I watch Rescue Me, Battlestar Galactica, and Lost. No big deal there although the feminists might take offense to my PA comments. Two strikes there. Oops again. People would also find that I tend to be a champion of all things Microsoft and Bill Gates, no surprise there considering my chosen field, and that I think a lot of the Web 2.0 hype is somewhat of a joke. I guess I won’t be working for any server side, anti-Microsoft web 2.0 startups in the future, shucks. People might also get the impression that I’m still a kid at heart, I would hope that would be considered a positive.

Overall I think so far I’ve done a pretty good job of spouting off without pissing off while also keeping it light, real and fun. It does make you think though, blogging is a very public forum. You just have to be careful, and think before you blog.

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