I am sure that by now you have read all about the article recently published over at the Financial Times around the topic of weblogging: Whos afraid of the big, bad blog? by Kevin Allison and, most importantly, you have also read about the different commentaries it has sparkled all over the Blogosphere over the last few days. I am not going to be adding much more to the already existing discussions on the topic except for a couple of comments that I found quite interesting, including a couple of quotes as well on the subject.
The first idea that you would be able to get out of that news article is the fact that more and more both corporations, and smaller companies, are starting to take more seriously the weblogging phenomenon as a new refreshing way of keeping yourself real to your work and to your clients. I doubt there would be anybody out there who may still be ignoring the Blogosphere without facing the consequences one way or another. We have got plenty of examples for that. But let me just quote a reference from the article by Suw Charman:
“”Business is used to inhabiting a broadcast environment, and that is not what the Blogosphere is about, she says. Companies need to learn that they cant control the message any more, then they have to learn that thats good.” (Emphasis mine)
So as you can see, it is all about new ways of sharing information and knowledge. It is all now about looking for a way to collaborate with one another where there is no longer a hierarchy in the discussions but more than anything else a true conversation between peers where only the best would come out: the knowledge sharing.
Then further down into the article you will be able to get a good overview on a number of different stories that have taken place and that do actually show you how the weblogging phenomenon has been impacting not only companies but also their employees. For better or for worse, but folks who have been involved with weblogging have not remained the same any longer. And that basically touches base on how important it is the issue that in order to weblog yourself and provide the best value into those conversations and knowledge sharing it is always good to have some guidance. Some guidelines that you can refer to back and forth whenever you are not too sure about how to progress further with the your weblogging style.
And this is where you will find some good input on what IBM (The company I work for) has done in this area: creating some weblogging guidelines, which are just that, guidelines, for whenever you would need to refer back to them, just in case. And to follow with a quote on this same subject here you have got one from one of my colleagues, James Snell about the creation of the IBM weblogging guildelines:
“James Snell, an IBM blogger and software developer, described the process: The final draft was polished up a bit by the corporate communications and legal folks, [but] the bullet points were written by IBMs bloggers based on what they felt was important both for them and for the company. In other words, this isnt a policy that IBM is imposing upon us, it is a commitment that we have all entered into together.” (Emphasis mine)
So if you are out there reading this and you work for a company where you are not really sure if they would have a weblogging policy or guidelines I would suggest you would check it out with them and see if there would be a need for it. Chances are that you would need one, just to make sure you can join the conversations and continue collaborating in a comfortable environment based on trusting what you do and how you do it, and, most importantly, with whom you do it.