Once you’ve ‘said’ it on the Internet… there it stays
If you’re like every person on the planet you have an opinion, right? From politics to religion to the type of pet you like (and don’t) to your favorite brand of peanut butter (Peter Pan rules!) everyone has a feeling — good, bad or indifferent — about almost everything.
Throughout my career as a journalist I wrote articles that showed both sides of the story, regardless of which side I was on. Through my time on Facebook and other social media outlets I’ve learned to not jump into the fray when politics or religion are discussed, even though my fingers are itching to. The reason? Not that I am afraid to voice my opinions, but because I have a public image I’d like to “protect” and once you say something on the Internet, it is there forever regardless of how many times you hit the delete button. My friends and family know where I stand on issues, but the “world” does not need to know. I’d like my private life to be as private as possible. (You’re welcome for the pet photos I post!)
Full disclosure here, I have more than one website and I recently wrote a post entitled, “Oh FFS: On Minding My Language, Or Not.” It contained some “swears!”
Is your site something you want a potential editor or sponsor to see? Is it full of typos? Grammar errors that would make your first grade teacher cringe? Are you querying a magazine about a topic on which you’d written negative comments on your blog? Remember, you don’t have to have a website that cost you thousands of dollars to build and maintain, an editor won’t likely judge you on the webhost or even the design, but they will (whether consciously or subconsciously) judge you on the content.
Bottom line: Make certain that everything you have posted on the Internet shows you in the best light possible, editors can and do search for information on potential authors so be sure what they find about you makes them want to work with you. Bear in mind that your Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites are open for public viewing as well.