Friday, September 28, 2007

Employee blogging

Lilia Efimova has been doing some interesting research on blogging practices. She's working on her PhD on this topic at the moment. She recently posted on a workshop she gave at the ECSW conference on "Employee blogging - personal or work-related?". Find her interesting slides here.

I liked the citation (sheet 2) of Joshua Allen:
As long as your company views your blogging as "you chatting with your neighbors on your personal time", you pose little risk. But the more that co-workers, CEOs, and so on are on-record as being cool with blogs, the more that blogs take on the timbre of being "official". The more "official" that blogs are, the more perceived risk the company takes on by allowing you to blog. And neither you nor your CEO is really keen to make things more complicated than they need to be. And this is why, IMO, you see most companies and employees today still dancing around the issue of employee blogs and seemingly settling on a "don't ask, don't tell, and please ... don't do anything stupid" policy.
The issues of personal vs. business blogs (sheet 3, 5-7) is intriguing. "The extremes are not that interesting", indeed, as Lilia states. The interesting part is how we can mix personal and business blogs. I, for instance, blog about my work. But I make sure I don't post about confidential stuff.
However, I would like to have a blog (one blog) with which I could choose to publish a post internally (only to my colleagues) and/or externally (to the rest of the world). For every post you can set this setting: 'publish internal' or 'publish external'. I haven't seen blog software offer this feature yet. Wouldn't this solve much of the problems around employee blogging?

4 comments:

  1. I've tended not to do much internal blogging, since MSFT culture is massively biased toward e-mail mailing lists for collaboration. Recently, with some prodding from Jon Udell, we've worked out some of the kinks and are doing a bit more internal blogging.

    I've cross-posted to both internal and external a number of times. I've found the best tool for this is Windows Live Writer. I author the external version of the post first, publish it, and then just change the drop-down to point to my internal blog and hit "publish" again. You can also do this with blogject or MS Word 2007 AFAIK. Doing external first is convenient because the blog publishing software will upload images on the first publish, and then use the URLs to the external images on the second post -- if you reverse the order, you can end up with your external blog pointing to images that are behind your corporate firewall.

    The other advantage of doing it this way is that you can make tweaks to each version -- you often want to have some private information on the internal post that shouldn't be shared externally.

    The drawback which I've encountered is when you want to go back and correct something. You then have to correct 2 copies; and when I get lazy I'll correct only the external post.

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  2. Just to keep things together: It looks like SocialText 3.0 can do the job too!

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