On my winter vacation this week, I've been spending some of my time sketching out a book proposal. The idea would be to explore the professional blog as a literary form that grows out of, and extends, two traditional forms: the resume and the autobiography. That might seem self-evident to blogging cognoscenti, but it's still unfamiliar to most people. Unusually for me, this book would address that audience. Profiles of readers I'd like to reach:
I have long imagined that blogs would evolve in this direction. But as I survey the landscape in search of examples, I'm finding few of them. Most blogs are more personal than professional in the sense I'm defining here. Of those that identify themselves as professional, many are pseudonymous. Of those that use true names, surprisingly few seem to take the approach I envision: narrating the course of a career, articulating its public agenda, writing its permanent record.
I can think of two reasons why this isn't happening to the extent I imagined it would. First, because it hasn't yet occurred to most people. That would be a good reason to write the book.
But second, because it's the wrong idea. Most people wouldn't want to use a blog in this way or, if they did, would run into obstacles -- employer/employee friction, fear of future consequences -- that would prevent them from doing so. That would be a good reason not to write the book.
I'm painfully undecided at the moment, and would love to hear reasoned opinions one way or the other. If you blog your thoughts, the blogosphere will miraculously collect them for us. But I'm especially curious to know how non-bloggers outside the IT subculture see these issues. If you have friends, relatives, or associates who might like to weigh in, they're welcome to contact me the old-fashioned way.
Former URL: http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2005/12/29.html#a1360