Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Blogging Perils and Benefits

Top-down messaging is losing its effectiveness as consumers vote with their browser to go directly to the unfiltered voice of people like them.

Simply put, we're starting to trust what executives say less and what employees say more.

Markets are conversations, not speeches. People want to hear from real people, not remote authority figures.

So I got fired for blogging. Some may take this as a cautionary tale. Theyll say, "see, youve got to be careful what you write". Theyll take this as further proof that playing it safe is the best strategy. Theyll decide "its just not worth the price".

I think such conclusions are both wrong and dangerous. For one, the rewards Ive gained from blogging FAR outweigh the "price" of losing a job. Ive learned more about teaching this semester than in the past three years combined... and most of that learning came as a result of blogging consistently.

Through blogging, I vented my frustrations, identified problems, brainstormed ideas, shared disasters, shared successes, reflected deeply on my practice, and... most importantly,... connected with a network of incredibly skilled and innovative teachers/thinkers.

Jobs come and go.. but the skills and ideas Ive developed through blogging cannot be "terminated" by an employer. Im a far better teacher now than I was before-- that increased skill is my "career security". The better I get, the easier it is for me to attract students or other opportunities.

Seth Godin is right... what is truly risky is playing it safe. People who play it safe end up stuck in the same position for 10 years, doing exactly the same thing. They become ordinary, boring, dull. Then, after 20 years of faithful service, they get "downsized" or "encouraged" to "retire" early. Ive seen it so many times...

I lost a job because of blogging. So what. English Teaching jobs are incredibly easy to get.

What isnt easy is to become remarkable. For that is my goal. I dont want to be a "good" teacher... I want to be great. I want to inspire euphoria.

Blogging is my primary means of pushing towards that goal.

Already, Ive gained far more than the "price" I paid.

My message to other bloggers, therefore, is to keep blogging openly.

Be transparent-- and be bold!