In case you missed the memo, blogging could cost you your job. As you fill out your daily rants in your blog, please remember those confidentiality clauses you signed. Please remember the standard business practices your company follows. Please remember to respect the privacy of your coworkers and customers. And please remember that openly criticizing your organization is not the way to get promoted.
Blogging on the job
— reported by The Age
Writing a witty web diary of your working life might appeal, but make sure your boss approves — or keep it anonymous. By Kate Hilpern in London.
Bloggers have learned this lesson the hard way. Recently a lawsuit was brought against a former United States Senate aide whose explicit short-lived blog about relations with Washington officials titillated Beltway political hounds a couple of years ago. Jessica Cutler is being sued for invasion of privacy by a former legal counsel to an Ohio Republican senator.
She was sacked in 2004, once her diary had featured on a popular Washington gossip blog. Other workers in the US have lost their jobs because of blogs.
Jeff Jarvis, a media consultant and avid blogger, recently reported a further reason for their appeal: “In this age, when every message is manufactured, metered, spun and filtered, that is precisely what makes blogs so refreshing: their humanity.”
Employers tend to be less positive about blogging. Many are concerned about employees revealing confidential information, while others are worried about people saying inappropriate things about their co-workers or bosses.
The reality is that a huge number of blogs aren’t read, even by keenest fans. Some are boring, others are just silly. But it only takes one negative reference to an organisation to appear on a search listing, and within hours it could appear higher up than its official website on the results of internet search engines such as Google.
Some companies have the added concern that employees are too busy typing their latest blog entry to get on with their job.
Many organisations are responding by banning staff from blogging, or at least mentioning the employer’s name or any identifying details in their blogs. But Wilmott believes this could be counterproductive.
Microsoft takes the opposite stance. It encourages its staff to blog, not least because many of the blogs promote company products. For example, Darren Strange, who’s responsible for the next version of Microsoft Office, uses his blog to keep people up to date on the latest developments.
Other organisations are also recognising that blogs aren’t necessarily bad news and can even be turned into an opportunity.
Cadbury-Schweppes encourages its new graduate employees to blog about their experiences of work to act as a recruitment tool.