As all of us wannabe New Yorkers nestle into our respective internships (and endearingly teeny, tiny apartments), can you give us the DL on blogging boundaries? A blog is a pretty mighty weapon in this industry, and I’d like to chronicle the ins and outs of my internship to my imaginary cyberspace audience without, well, upsetting my editor. What can we say? What can’t we say? Is it even okay to disclose the name of the publication?
Unless you’re Lauren Weisberger (who was able to turn her gig assisting Anna Wintour into the bestselling novel and hit movie, The Devil Wears Prada), Ed never recommends revealing secrets about your workplace. (Although she was smart enough to create a fake name for her fictional account to keep her bases covered.) Almost all of Ed’s magazine editor friends recommend starting your own blog to break into the magazine industry—whether that’s to score a killer internship or land your first job. But Ed has also seen many Edsters crash and burn from revealing too much about where they work.
The perfect solution? Blog about everything but your job, which should be kept totally anonymous (that means no reference to where the office is located, what kind of writing you’re working on, or what kind of events you’re attending on assignment, and definitely no outing of your actual magazine). This applies tenfold to internships, because at that point, you don’t even have a foot in the door so it would not be a good idea to ruin all potential future references for a blog that may or may not be successful (and has definitely been done before).
If you’re dead-set on starting the blog, be super careful to not reveal any identifying details about your workplace. That means that your supervisor should be able to read it and never once think, “Oh wait, isn’t that our intern?” Be careful not to be too negative if you do get found out: anyone who sees it will think twice before hiring you in the future, because people want interns to be grateful and enthusiastic. And take it from Ed: an internship that gets you great experience and good references is a surefire way to make it in the mag industry and not worth giving up. If you’re really dying to share some inside scoop about the place (and it’s almost as Hellish as Weisberger’s account), keep a running log that you can turn into your own bestseller—years after your internship. In the meanwhile, check out Ed’s Intern Diaries for inspiration and be sure to apply in the fall to be one of our (anonymous and supervised) bloggers!
*Name has been changed