Having my blog* blocked at work turns out to be a bigger deal than I expected. I’ve heard from my friends at other Resources departments that this is agency-wide. It haven’t made any decisions or anything, but my sense is that it will lead to far less blogging from me, for two reasons. Obviously, I shouldn’t be composing text on work time, so I’m not going to cite that. But there are other reasons.
I can’t follow the conversation without blog access. I don’t like to write without being as current as I can, and these days I get links to court decisions and legal analysis from blogs. I follow the mood from their first-person reports. I read politicians’ blogs to
mock and belittle understand their mindset. I can’t track what people are doing without clicking the links from Aquafornia. I think keeping current on that is very plausibly part of my job. These days, that means blogs in the mix of sources.
The second reason I probably won’t write much while Resources is blocking blogs is that I won’t be talking to a lot of the people who are involved in Water. It is ridiculous that I have to use the internet to talk to my co-workers, but besides the half-a-dozen people I work with, there are another several thousand people in Resources that I’ve never met. I know some of them are reading my blog, because I can see their IP addresses. I know a bunch of people in the Legislature read here too, from their IP addresses. There are also a whole bunch of undifferentiated hits from the Teale Data Center; those are from state agencies as well.
I don’t like to show any interest in blogs at work, so I can’t follow up on why blogs are being blocked now throughout my agency. I thought it might be my IT guys getting creative, but it seems larger than that. Perhaps it is a new Brown administration getting-down-to-business policy. If so, I wonder whether it was really intended to exclude the topical and relevant water blogs. I understand Brown’s austerity vibe, but if blogs are, as I believe, an important part of the discourse in the field, blocking them also costs us exposure to thought (free thought! thought that costs the state nothing!).
May I propose a solution? I suspect that the no-blogs policy was implemented quickly, since it specifically keys off blog suffixes in the URL. If any high-up people are reading (and I see you, you know), perhaps the Net Nanny software could be modified to allow the water blogs in? Those are professionally relevant. Aquafornia’s blogroll is as comprehensive as any list I know. Perhaps blogs on that list could be allowed? Otherwise, without being able to read as much as I like to and knowing that I’m not reaching a large sector of the field, I won’t be writing the sophisticated and penetrating analyses of Devin Nunes you guys have come to rely on.
*all blogs actually. Anything with wordpress, livejournal, typepad or blogspot in the URL.