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Employee Blogs 3
(June 22, 2007) The really tricky area for bloggers and their managers is when it involves unauthorized blogging on the company's behalf. "I didn't know what she was doing." is only useful as a defense the first time. So, if you are the cat rustler for over eager employees and they screw with the commercial trade environment, you probably get a free pass the first time. The second time, it becomes evidence of your complicity.
Let me unpack that a bit.
It's clear that anyone who can have a blog will have a blog in the not to distant future. Blogging, for all the mystique, is nothing more than a very personal style of journalism facilitated by web publishing technology. There is an array of motivations for people to engage in this type of public self-flagellation. The networking of all human beinghood is accelerated by the emergence of real time online publishing and dialog. It makes it possible for people of like mind (or like profession) to find and interact with each other.
So, say I am the happy author of a blog about the care and feeding of wiener-dogs. I do this in my spare time outside of work. I talk exclusively to other wiener-dog fans, owners and family. Pretty obviously, my company has no interest in my work outside of work (assuming that my organization does not work in any industry related to wiener-dogs).
Then, one day a bully posts something nasty about my company and I respond. Or, my boss disciplines me and I spout off about it. Or legislation is proposed that inhibits my company and I write against it. Or somebody buys the company and threatens to outsource my job and I complain. Or I notice a crummy online review and take the company's side. Or, or, or.
In each of the aforementioned cases, I would have crossed the public-private divide.
As a manager, I'll be held accountable for any of those things if they happen on my watch in the current environment.Send To a Friend
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