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Links to my published articles online
List of Publications with Full Citations

Adolescent Diary Weblogs and the Unseen Audience

Conversations in the Blogosphere: An Analysis "from the Bottom Up". Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-38) Best Paper Nominee.

Weblogs as a bridging genre

Bridging the Gap: A Genre Analysis of Weblogs. Winner of the 2004 EduBlog Awards as best paper.

Common Visual Design Elements of Weblogs

Women and Children Last: The Discursive Construction of Weblogs

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The Performativity of Naming: Adolescent Weblog Names as Metaphor

Buxom Girls and Boys in Baseball Hats: Adolescent Avatars in Graphical Chat Spaces

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Last updated July 8, 2005.

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Last Updated November 22, 2005.

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New books are added but reading status is rarely accurate.

July 24, 2005

Bloggers need not apply, redux or the US framework of employment

Clancy has an interesting post on Bloggers need not apply, redux (opens in a new window). Pull up her text and have a read before you go forward with this post, I need to contextualize.  p.s.  Comments apply only to U.S. situations.

The NYTimes has it spot on. You see employers don't legally have to like what you do as a person.  So they have lots of outs when you do something they don't like especially when the legal framework of case law hasn't caught up to the technology. For example you can legally hold a second job, unless you specifically signed that right away through a contract, but your primary employer can control where you get that second job.  So a Wendy's manager can't moonlight as a Burger King/Carl's Jr. fry cook.  Or a parochial school teacher can't have a second job as a stripper.  Why?  Because the second job reflects poorly on the image the first employer wants to create and both examples create links between two companies that the first employer wouldn't want to have in place.  This issue has been tested in court and held to be true.

I think this is the same general logic that some employers have been applying to blogging.  So Delta Airlines canned Ellen Simonetti for her blog, and in particular her picture on the blog, because it created an image of the company that they didn't want.  Of course had the same photos been taken for private consumption, not to be posted on the web, and the company had found out I expect she would have received a warning or a short layoff but I don't expect she would have been canned over them.  It's only when the photos the employer views as inappropriate were published online that it rose to a firing issue.

You see until the legal framework catches up anything is legal that isn't explicitly stated as illegal, like the EEO laws cited in the article. "Laws prevent employers [hiring entities, as well] from acting against employees [or applicants] on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, age, religion or disability - and, in some places, sexual orientation. Many workers have few other protections, employment lawyers said" (comments added).  Until some protection is given to bloggers, which under the current climate I don't expect will ever happen, then employers must take existing case law and regulation and try to slot the current situation into the framework so that there is a good logical basis for what they do.  In essence that makes it much easier for employers to pass on hiring someone for something they find a problem, because until they make the hire they are not the employer...they are just an entity with a job opening which means there are very few rules to protect the applicant. 

I think it's safe to add that academic freedom is a concept that appears to only apply to faculty and from one employer to their employees.  (I haven't spent any time reading academic freedom legal cases so if I have this wrong send me an email and I'll update the post with a revision.)  So faculty member Adams can write most anything he/she wants at Institution A where he is a tenured professor without much fear of least not formally.  However if he/she applies to Institution B for a position that institution can pass on hiring him/her because of the writings.  Of course they can hire if they want to...nothing prevents that from happening.

So as with anything else in employment the employer/hiring entity holds most of the cards it's up to the employee/applicant to try to fit their mold.

Posted by prolurkr at July 24, 2005 10:26 AM

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