My blog was something I ran for fun, for therapeutic value and because I enjoyed the fact I entertained some friends with it and made new friends via it. Small-scale and mostly read by friends and friends of friends and the occasional person who would come across it somehow – just another (darkly humorous) blog among many tens of thousands around the globe.
Now it is being discussed for good or ill by a large number of people around the world – other bloggers, fellow booksellers (in and out of my former company), publishers, fellow reviewers and writers and even journalists.
That’s Joe writing in the Woolamaloo Gazette. Joe Gordon, the ex-Waterstones bookseller who became the first blogger in Britain to be sacked from his job because he kept an online diary in which he occasionally mentioned bad days at work and satirised his boss.
He was putting on a brave face. On Jan 11 he wrote after his story was picked up by the media:
Had the unusual experience this afternoon of modeling in Princes Street near my former bookshop for two broadsheet newspapers, the Scotsman and the Guardian…
But it is a sobering reminder of the perils of blogging. Keep a diary if you must that you can lock away in a drawer, but online — beware! Hide behind a mask of anonymity and be careful what you say. So is blogging doomed to be, like conversation, the art of concealing thoughts?
Joe certainly wouldn’t have been out of a job if he had kept what he calls his "big mouth" shut.
Out of a job, he is still blogging, but the man has a big problem. He writes:
It is good to see how many people, many of whom I have never met or heard from before, are offering me their best wishes and sharing their outrage. Right now I’m getting ready for a trip to the Job Centre for my interview, searching every site I can online for work and desperately hoping to sort something out before I hit a financial black hole.
One hopes his reputation as a blogger won’t hurt his chances at job interviews. Open markets and growing intolerance seem to be the order of the day.