be yourself, no matter what they say.
As to persona representation, sorry, I don’t go with you on this one. When I worked at Fawcette I saw someone get fired for getting drunk at a party and hitting, inappropriately, on my coworkers. At NEC I saw someone get fired for posting racist remarks in a Web forum. Neither case was really an example of behavior that was connected to the company’s official business, but the reality is that if you work for a company and you’re identifyable with that company you’re ALWAYS representing that company.
Ben, you’re generally the only interaction I have with the BBC. Think about that for a moment. To ME you ARE the BBC. Well, you and Ian, who I meet at geek dinners in London.
In the comments it is brought up that there are more than just Ben at the BBC. Which is correct, of course there are more people.
But Ben – and that is probably something Robert too had in mind – ‘is’ the backstage project. Especially as in “hipper than your usual BBC person” so you recognize him even more and connect him to the old school BBC.
And it is not about being clean at all time as another comment goes, but about being reliable to a company. A big company – when they hire you – should be well aware of the fact, that they for example hire a blogger. And be sure about what they get themselves into. This is where reliable comes in. And trustworthy.
And while many people (especially younger ones) seem to be only used to the on / off life of freelancing in this new world, most corporations still have employees, which have been with the company for a long long time. Therefor, identifiying a person with the company is something which older people (me included) still do. It is reliable. It is what we know about.
Now, are times changing? Yes, and the newer modell is not anymore one job for your lifetime but several. So, it is less important where you work and what you say about that? Wrong. It get’s even more important about what you write and how you write. Because in the future, it will be usual if it is not already to google your name and any older company, preferable limited to what you write about this company.
(I for example do have a very good ranking at least in Google and if I would write about my current employer, it is likely that my posts on this will rank quite high if anybody searches the company. Which is why I am very silent about work and where I work. Not because I am ashamed about that or there would be nothing to blog, but because it can have such an impact.)
With changing times, I expect people to be more authentic about who they are and what they do. Which is another reason, why the seperating of personay will not work. Try for yourself to write an anonymous blog for some time and do it with a different persona and not to be traced back to you – if you are really into how blogging works, this will not work imho.
You can’t link to your friends, you can’t write about your friends, you only can blog so much about yourself because otherwise it would be traceable back to your other persona. So very complicated. Job and private mix and you have to think about who you are and what you are about – and then stay with that. Otherwise you will get into a lot of trouble sooner or later.