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First, Internet message boards do not, in my opinion, constitute a
"professional environment." The Internet is a notoriously deceptive
environment. As such all Internet posting must be met with a certain amount
skepticism. What a person writes on the Internet is rarely a good picture of
that person in reality.
That's true, but that fact doesn't always stop people from making those
What I think a lot of people tend to forget is that the 'net is not only
public, it's well-nigh permanent. Imagine my shock a few years ago when my
employer at the time mentioned that he'd come across one of my old Usenet
posts on DejaNews - he'd done a search for our company name, which was in my
.sig at the time... I counted myself extremely fortunate that I hadn't said
anything about him or the company in that one, because I know he would have
taken it very personally. (I was young and careless enough at that time to
have done something like that.)
I agree that it would be silly to judge people on the basis of one or two
messages to this list, but I don't think that anyone on the list is
advocating doing that. At the same time, we have to accept that there are
people out there who might very well be judging us on that exact basis. How
we deal with _that_ depends on the individual in question and how secure
they feel in the world, I suspect.
Hub Data, Inc.
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