I enjoy engaging on social networking sites and my motivation is more personal that career oriented, but the discussion caused me reflect to upon my motivation is and what I blog about. As I looked through my old posts I noticed a post which I wrote about a year ago analysing my motivation and this is generally still accurate a year later. However, I was surprised how few of my blog posts mentioned IBM or the work I do for them.
At a rough count, my blog post fall into 3 categories:
- Roughly 20% have something to do with IBM or the projects I work on. I included anything vaguely work related in this category e.g. I wrote several posts about the Young Scientist Competition which are not really related to my work, but I counted them because I got involved through IBM's sponsorship of the event.
- About 50% were technology related posts that had nothing to do with my work (e.g. reviews of mobile phone applications) .
- The remaining 30% non-technology related (e.g. expressing opinions about politics or sport)
Since I spend well more than 20% of my time thinking about my work I would have predicted that (due to simple statistics) a higher percentage of my output would be work related.
I make no secret about what I work on, but my reasons for not writing about work relate to two main reasons:
- If I write about IBM or an IBM product I find it rad to get the right balance. If I a praise the company too highly it sounds contrived, but if I am too critical of an IBM product/policy it might have negative consequences too.
- It takes me longer to write about a work related product because I feel that people will expect me to be accurate and check all of my facts. For example if I was to write a technical article for DeveloperWorks about a product I was working on, I would typically expect to spend several weeks getting it exactly right. In contrast I can write a comparison between RunKeeper and MyTracks in a much shorter time and I don't feel obligated to double check any of my statement since I don't claim to be an expert.
After reflecting upon this a little, I decided to keep with my current balance of allowing personal posts to predominate on this blog. After all I have plenty of other forums in which to write about my work. If articles are published elsewhere about stuff that I am working on, I often promote them to friends and colleagues by sharing on Facebook and/or Twitter. Perhaps I in the future I will try remember to also cross post to LinkedIn, since this seems to be more popular with my generation.