Blogging with courage, aka losing the habit of holding back

Every so often, you hit a crossroads, and I think I’m at one right now.
For the past two years, working at Yahoo!, I’ve been careful not to share ideas on my blog that were in any way related to intellectual property or value Yahoo! could benefit from in any way. This meant writing more quotes of the day, and few posts that commented to where social media and social search, for example, should go as they develop. The logic of holding back ideas was that it was only fair to save them for my employer, since I was getting paid to both develop strategy and build products.

Now, two years into the Y! gig, I’m rethinking what’s appropriate to put on my blog. I’m also questioning how much I’ve allowed having a staff position to become an excuse for writing with the focus and courage that marks what I think of as my best (writing) work.

Have I allowed my job at Yahoo! to become the equivalent of my old role at AOL, where I was so busy and heads down I lost my voice in the community, the commons?

To some extent, I think I have.

It’s easy to become so careful about disturbing corporate that one says very little at all—and yet, Yahoo! is so non-corporate that this practice is starting to strike me as Susan’s self-censorship, a lack of courage. I’ve been quite focused on building my voice as a feminist and a post-divorce midlife woman over at BlogHer, where I’m posting sex and relationship columns every week as a Contributing Editor, but very quiet about my tech and related interests over here, on SMB.

And so, I’m in the middle of re-thinking that.

I still don’t plan to write about Yahoo! (not appropriate), and I’ll avoid sharing strategies or competitive intelligence related to my category and business unit (Personals), but I’m thinking it’s time to super-charge my blogging stance, once again. Given the hyper-focus of my job, there’s no reason not to write more broadly here—finding the time for more in-depth posts may be challenging, but it will be a great intellectual exercise, and a focusing device for articulating what, beyond Personals and structured data, interests me.

Once again, I plan to write more about the themes, people, and products of the day, and while I am not interested in breaking news— Mike and Richard and Rafat and Peter do that amazingly well—I do want to step up how I talk and write about what’s going on, and restart my voice as an more active member of the mix (and yes, this is very much the equivalent of telling your friends you’re going to go on that diet and NOT have that chocolate cake and then be obligated to actually follow through.)

So, while we’re still in January and resolution land, here’s my own new blogging beginning—to write in more depth, more broadly, abut whatever is engaging me–more often, and with more flavor.

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  1. Richard MacManus says:

    Woot! I for one will be looking forward to the fruits of this resolution. Your blog is high on my list of those I read for tech insights.

  2. Kin Lane says:

    Good for you Susan! You go and find your voice.
    Can’t wait for organizations to fully embrace transparency so us “employees” do not fall into these ruts!
    Looking forward to your blog entries.

  3. todd says:

    Great post Susan. I, on the other hand, have decided to bite the hand that fed me.

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