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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Blogging and the Workplace

Most people know by now that what you do on the Internet under your own name will almost certainly follow you offline. Amazingly, an editor at the Maimi New Times — an alt. weekly in Miami FL — thought that the usual journalistic rules about libel didn't apply to her blog, where she trashed an employee. At least, that's what it says in this article from Daily Business Review. The editor in question has been suspended and may be sued.

Most cyber-savvy citizens are aware — or should be aware — that bloggers have been fired from their jobs for posting office gossip or proprietary information, or even for making an explicit connection between their blogs and their workplace. Blogging makes employers nervous, the same way having a journalist embedded at their company would make employers nervous. Employers need to understand this medium, and how it can affect their business or organization.

Earlier this year, I discovered that a Vermont blogger had posted information linking him to his/her employer, and realized that the employer in question would likely not approve of the staffperson's blog. I chose not to draw attention to this situation, but I wonder if Vermont's businesses and institutions have caught up with this national trend. Does your workplace have a blogging policy? Do your employers know about your blog? How do you deal with this potential conflict?

July 26, 2005 at 12:30 PM in Got blog? | Permalink


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I'm very fortunate in that not only does my employer know about Candleblog and is okay with it, he's a regular reader as well... and let's me blog at work (if there's nothing else pressing to do)! In fact, if I couldn't blog at work, I don't think I could keep it up.

Posted by: Bill Simmon | Jul 26, 2005 3:08:50 PM

Well, what happens when your workplace MAKES you get one? Huh?

Oh, by the way — The Village Voice doesn't have a music blog! can you believe it? I got a solicitation (well, me and the rest of the hacks on the Eastern Seaboard) from their Music Editor Chuck Eddy. While I'm not ready to pull an Ethan Covey and ditch for NYC, I did send him a link to my lame little slice 'o the inter-web.

My favorite work-related blog is the New Yorker's music geek Sasha Frere Jones'spot. He's even more of an elitist prick than I!


It pretty much blows SolidState away. Maybe I'll get a smarter blog When I write for the New Yorker...

Posted by: casey | Jul 26, 2005 5:56:45 PM

Here's good collection of blogging policies. Use common sense, people! Basic stuff: don't say anything bad about your employer, fellow employees, or your competition. Don't give away company secrets.

If you're the boss, check out link above in order to help draft a blogging policy (or contact me). You should put one in place even if you don't think you need to yet. And for goodness' sake, do not require all blog posts to go through legal and/or marketing first! You're missing the whole point! You may as well just call yourself a dinosaur and go drown yourself in the nearest tar pit.

Posted by: Michael Martine | Jul 26, 2005 11:30:02 PM

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