Down with fluff! (But how will it affect my job?)
I had an interesting conversation with Len Kendall a couple weeks ago about fluff after he wrote a guest post for Arik Hanson about creative ways to use new geolocation tools. It was an amazing post which offered a full-fledged example as to how tools like Foursquare can be used by marketers.
My reaction to this post was something along the lines of, “I can’t believe he shared a specific example with the whole world!”
After I told Len this, he said something that really struck me:
“As much as I hate giving away ideas that could be used at work…it needed to be done. Way to much fluff out there with no real world apps.”
And you know what? He’s so totally right. I’m guilty of this as much as anyone. I know that many times I try to make a point but I don’t use a specific example for fear of sharing too much about my professional work. It’s a fine line to walk between sharing too much and writing pure fluff.
To this point, I have tried to err on the side of caution and write much more fluff than detailed, actionable examples for fear that it would give away secrets about my employer. But have I stopped walking the line and set up camp on the fluff side?
I think it’s tricky to walk this line, especially if you blog about what you do in a professional setting. So how do you balance writing non-fluff with not sharing more than is appropriate?
Len made the point that it’s always possible to write about ideas that would not apply to your employer while still sticking to that which you love. But if I write about a detailed and specific measurement program, could you use the knowledge that my employer does not do said program to better compete? Am I thinking too much about this?
Where do you draw the line? How much do you share and how much fluff do you add to keep employer secrets (and your job)?