Big Brother is watching

I start off this post, kind of like the last one, with a video. But this time, it’s more insidious. It’s ominous. It’s a warning: Big Brother is watching.

The last time I wrote in this space, I complained of a loss of responsibility I’ll be undergoing in the next few months. It’s something I haven’t discussed in detail on my professional Facebook account, let alone my personal one, but it’s happening, laid out in some detail here.

We received word Wednesday our publisher, an employee of my newspaper of more than 25 years, reconsidered and took a buyout from my company. I went to Facebook and complained of the loss, being a little more specific than before. It picked up some discussion, but not a ton.

Hours after I left, I received a call from my immediate supervisor, fingering me because our publisher was contacted within a half hour of making his announcement. I was too specific on my personal Facebook page and it came back to bite me. I should have known. Big Brother is watching.

I was already aware the corporate masters have an eye on my Twitter account, freely look over other items I write such as my company blog and I know Big Brother is reading here, perhaps from time to time, plus there’s the very public Facebook account I own that’s searchable on Google. That’s fine. Let them.

But this is a lesson that no matter how private of an account you have online – which the Facebook posting in question is on a private and personal account – someone can rat you out to Big Brother. Big Brother can be the government or it can be corporate lackeys. The lesson is learned, and it’s back to being vague when it comes to all postings unless there’s some sort of announcement when it comes to our fate and destiny.

And I better brush up on “1984” while I’m at it.

Back to training. Since last weekend, the end of the 2010-11 academic year and all of those athletics for me, I’ve rediscovered NewsU, a Internet-based journalism training site. I’m wrapping up one online seminar in cleaning up my copy. If I’m going to focus more on writing and photography, I had better start being a better writer and photographer.

Who cares if I’ve won first place for sports columnist twice, sports news story once, sports feature once and sports photo twice.

I also stumbled across leading an online newsroom. Now that’s important for a number of reasons. If I’m a so-called “Mobile News Champion,” with no belt to match, I better be on top of these kinds of things. That’s why I’ve been looking closer into apps for my iPod Touch and starting to look into getting my wife and I each an iPhone and even an iPad for myself.

It is extremely difficult to think about getting these things, however, when we barely can feed the family. And Dad needs a new car next spring. We can’t plop down $1,000 in new technology when I have to rely on some old technology, and hell, that would include a truck next spring for me. The goal has been to get a new truck.

However, with the loss of responsibilities at work, and the attempt to generate new ones so not only my job but also the people who work with me are still valuable, it’s impressing upon me that I need to do something. So, we’re investigating plans through AT&T right now for the Apple products. I’d like to think we can bundle a home phone and Internet service with the mobile plans. I hope I’m not dreaming.

Training myself. I’ve also been trying to work on video. That’s essentially through YouTube at this point. So, my first two videos are on there with a third needing some editing.

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