Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Monday, October 06, 2003

Worker blogs raise some company concerns

Yahoo! News - Worker blogs raise some company concerns

Sometimes, I think, people believe that because they cannot see the readers of their blogs, that it's somehow anonymous. Ludicrous, I know, but think about all the people who send out e-mails and then are surprised when they come back to bite them.

There's a balance to personal diary blogging and making sure you don't overstep into the realm of heated accusations or libel. I try to walk that, because I know that people can connect the dots in terms of my web presence between diary and professional remarks and where I work. Granted, I don't announce where I work, but that's just a Google search away. And I hope by now you've figured out that this blog is a collection of personal commentary, as mentioned at the bottom of the screen. On the other hand, I don't think that means people shouldn't blog at all, just try to keep some common sense

I try not to say anything about anyone I wouldn't say to his or her face, for one. And not that I work for a company with a product but letting product secrets out of the bag would, well, be extremely stupid, especially if there was something in a person's contract otherwise. It would be like me announcing the name and personal information of a patient on this blog--not only could that get me fired (especially since I signed a confidentiality clause) but I could be criminally prosecuted or sued in civil court for doing so.

Blogging is an excellent tool for all sorts of things. I hope companies won't fear the power of blogging so much that they micromanage their workers' expressions. I'm not sure, for example, how appropriate it is for the paper mentioned to limit a writer's political comments on a personal blog. That depends very much on what the writer's contract with the paper says. If political commentary is not covered and there is no exclusive contract for services, then I think it becomes a free speech matter.

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