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Saturday, August 09, 2008


Earlier this year I spoke on a panel, Sexual Privacy Online at South By Southwest Interactive in Austin, Texas. I enjoyed the experience so much (both the debate and also the festival) that I've now submitted my own panel, Bloggers: You're Fired! for next year's event.

This is where you come in:
all panels get voted on by the public and then the SXSWi committee and staff, so the more votes my panel gets, the more likely it is that it'll be selected for inclusion in the 2009 programme. So I ask you all to visit the panel picker, register (it's very simple to do so) and vote for it now, thank you. Voting is open until August 29th.

What'll you get in return? Well, I guarantee this panel is going to be brilliant because I've got a shit-hot line-up of superb all-British* bloggers who'll be speaking, so if you're planning on making it to SXSW, I promise you'll find the event great fun to attend. But even if you won't be at the festival, the debate will be podcast and filmed, so you'll still be able to hear/see the panel afterwards. Finally, you'll make me happy if you vote: what more could you ask for?

Vote here, thank you.

*Us Brits are going to kick some serious bum in Texas. Americans, you have been warned.

The blurb:

From anonymously whistle-blowing on your money-grabbing, corrupt colleagues in the Stock Exchange, to taking your employers to court when they fire you for blogging, ‘outed’ British sex-blogger Girl with a one-track mind moderates a panel to find out: have bloggers now got the upper hand?

With an outstanding and unique panel of British speakers, Bloggers: You’re Fired! will explore whether it is possible to combine blogging, anonymity and work – and how you can whistle-blow without getting caught.

This inimitable panel is exceptionally positioned to talk about these issues: each speaker brings a wealth of personal experience and professional expertise to this topic.

All speakers run high-traffic, popular, award-winning blogs, and, in addition, all have published a best-selling book that is based on their blog.

Petite Anglaise, a.k.a. Catherine Sanderson, was fired by her employers after they discovered her blog. She then took them to an employment tribunal – and won: her employers were forced to pay her damages.

Tom Reynolds, whose blog Random Acts of Reality covers his work as an EMT, has been writing –with permission from his employers– for five years. His blog helped set the standard for work-based-blogging in the UK.

City Boy, a.k.a. Geraint Anderson, anonymously wrote a blog and newspaper column that whistle-blew on his Stock Exchange colleagues. He decided to divulge his real identity when his book was published.

Girl With A One-Track Mind
, a.k.a. Zoe Margolis, will be moderating this talk, and brings her experience of blogging anonymity –and being forced to lose it without her consent, at the hands of the mainstream press– to the table.

The panel will look at the ethics and perils of anonymous vs. non-anonymous blogging and attempt to answer the following questions:

*Why blog anonymously?

*Whistle-blowing on work: what are the risks?

*What are the advantages of blogging under your real name?

*The consequences: what might happen when you've put everything on the record?

*How should bloggers deal with invading others' privacy in their blogs?

*Should employers be informed if you're blogging about work?

*Respecting moral boundaries vs. 'In the public interest': where should bloggers draw the line?

*What happens if (or when) you lose your blogging anonymity?

*Knowing your rights: what happens if your employers fire you for blogging?

*The future of blogging: what lessons can we learn?

This will be a fun –and heated– debate with the aim of incorporating lots of contributions and interaction from the audience.

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