Air Out Your Dirty Laundry

Concerning a tool for Google+ which allows you to weed out inactive profiles, Robert Scoble wrote: “Great extension to keep your circles clean. I will never follow folk who don’t (sic) post anything to public.”

33329127This is the main reason I used to make everything public. I don’t doubt the danger of future employers looking at my profile and dismissing me, but there’s a danger in becoming complacent with the idea that employers should be allowed to not hire you because of your personal political beliefs. I believe political beliefs should be explicitly protected from prejudice in the workplace. What greater offense to freedom of speech and democracy than to have your livelihood threatened because of them?

I experimented with limiting my posts to Extended Circles before, but this is far too limiting. I don’t want to have a profile which seems inactive to someone who I have yet to circle. If everything on your profile is limited to only those you’ve circled and people within the extended circle demographic, then your profile will look bare and unused, making it difficult to tell if you’re an active user or just a spam profile waiting to pounce.

This may be a problem Google has yet to think about. Maybe they have and this is why Schmidt is so confident in his position about the whole real name issue. I’m still uncomfortable with it even though I personally don’t mind using my real name, but it’s still going to be an issue until it’s resolved or people become complacent with the Google+ status quo.

Also, try using your non-public post in a link in a blog post elsewhere, or as a recommendation to a friend to show how lively discussions are in Google+ to entice them to check things out.

Addendum: This was brought to my attention:

In a first-of-its-kind ruling, on September 2, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) required an employer to rehire five workers it had fired after the workers posted comments about a co-worker and their employment with the company on Facebook. As part of its decision (PDF), an Administrative Law Judge with the NLRB found that the Facebook communications were a “concerted activity” that were protected by the National Labor Relations Act (the “Act”).

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