Companies telling bloggers what they can blog about.

An article over at the Washington Post website caught my eye. Titled Free Speech—Virtually , it discusses a growing trend of companies laying down guidelines on what their employees who maintain weblogs are allowed to discuss on their blogs related to the company they work for. It would seem that with the booming popularity of blogs there are more and more folks losing their jobs over things they have written in relation to their work life. Rather than leave their employees with doubts about what they can and can’t write about, many companies appear to be laying it down in writing.

This is in part why I’ve made little mention of where I work beyond the fact that I do IT support and that it’s for one of the big three automakers. Ah! The joys of free speech!

4 thoughts on “Companies telling bloggers what they can blog about.

  1. Rule #1: I never, ever blog about my job. The fact that I even HAVE a job is mentioned rarely and only in the most oblique of manners. Only one or two of the 40+ people in my office even know that I have a weblog. If someone asks, I won’t lie about it, but neither do I advertise. I work for a good company, but I’d rather not tempt fate. Period.

    Rule #2: When in doubt, refer to Rule #1.

  2. I’m just waiting for someone like the ACLU to pick this up. If it doesn’t release proprietary material, and if it’s not libel, it can’t be regulated. Corporations aren’t a part of the checks-and-balances system in this country…

    …unless we’ve all moved 20 minutes into the future and I blinked and missed it.

    Let’s hear it for owning your own company, sporadic income and all.

  3. I do blog at work, but keep it low-key. We don’t block ANYthing at my company, and they trace nothing. Maybe two people know the URL and even know what blogs are—even though I’m in IT, most of my co-workers are remarkably uninformed about the web.

    However, I did sign a document when I was hired that said I could not write anything about the company without approval. I work for probably THE pre-eminent magazine publisher (not Time Warner), and they are very persnickety about it.

    If you go through my blog, you’ll find only one instance of me even naming my company, and that was for a specific reason (Sept. 11).

    I doubt the ACLU wouldn’t touch this,—it’s not blurry at all. In the past, we wouldn’t have written articles about our companies for publication, so why is this different? It’s not free speech under attack—it’s common sense on our parts, or the lack thereof.

    So you see, it can be regulated, if you work for a company like mine. Jack’s rules are excellent, too.

    And if you blog at work, remember this—you’re doing it on company time. Oops. [sheepish grin]

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