Weblogging vs. Your Career – It’s All in the Weblogging Policy and Guidelines
As a follow up to yesterday’s weblog post on Enterprise Weblogs – Why Aren’t There More? – A Question of Control? Is It Really?, Rod Boothby created a weblog post around the same subject in Blogging vs. Your Career where he is actually expanding further on why knowledge workers may have several constraints regarding weblogging, both on their corporate Intranets and also out there on the Internet. Rod’s post is a really worth while article for those interested in weblogging as a knowledge sharing and collaborative tool but who may still have some reservations as to what the limits would be. More than anything else because he is actually providing a couple of solutions to some of the different issues that people may have about weblogging overall; which are use your common sense (As in there are things you know you can weblog about and there are others that are better left for yourself and not everyone else) and copy Intuit’s Scott K. Wilder‘s weblogging guidelines to help people get started.
Indeed, Rod is listing over at Blogging vs. Your Career all of the different guidelines put together by Scott (and his team) and for sure that weblog post is a must-read for everyone interested in the Dos and Don’ts of weblogging, both from an Intranet and Internet perspectives. Lots of different hits and tips on how you can get the most out of weblogging without getting it backfire to you. Highly recommended.
This is exactly the same kind of exercise that IBM went through a few months ago (May 2005) when it finally embraced corporate and Internet weblogging as another medium for knowledge workers to reach out there and engage in the different conversations. I was part of the initial group of folks who drafted those different weblogging policy and guidelines and I must say that without those I doubt I would have started weblogging as well both on the Intranet and on the Internet. It was a good exercise to be able to establish how you could protect not only yourself but also your own weblogging against whatever other issues that may come up out there. We, too, decided to keep it short, simple and effective and from there try to spread the message around as much as we could possibly do so that everyone would be able to use their common sense and those guidelines, if anything, to protect themselves. And by the looks of it things seem to be going all right, I would think.
For those interested in reading some more about IBM’s blogging policy and guidelines you can find an extensive overview about them at the following URL: IBM’s blogging guidelines, but for the sake of this weblog post, and in order to add some more into what Rod has been sharing already, here you have a quick drop down of each of them:
- Know and follow IBM’s Business Conduct Guidelines.
- Blogs, wikis and other forms of online discourse are individual interactions, not corporate communications. IBMers are personally responsible for their posts. Be mindful that what you write will be public for a long time—protect your privacy.
- Identify yourself – name and, when relevant, role at IBM – when you blog about IBM or IBM-related matters. And write in the first person. You must make it clear that you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of IBM.
- If you publish a blog or post to a blog outside of IBM and it has something to do with work you do or subjects associated with IBM, use a disclaimer such as this: “The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.”
- Respect copyright, fair use and financial disclosure laws.
- Don’t provide IBM’s or another’s confidential or other proprietary information. Ask permission to publish or report on conversations that are meant to be private or internal to IBM.
- Don’t cite or reference clients, partners or suppliers without their approval.
- Respect your audience. Don’t use ethnic slurs, personal insults, obscenity, etc., and show proper consideration for others’ privacy and for topics that may be considered objectionable or inflammatory – such as politics and religion.
- Find out who else is blogging on the topic, and cite them.
- Don’t pick fights, be the first to correct your own mistakes, and don’t alter previous posts without indicating that you have done so.
- Try to add value. Provide worthwhile information and perspective.
Thus as you will be able to see things are not much different. However, the key message here is that if your business hasn’t got any weblogging policy or guidelines already available, it may be a good time to get busy building up some of them and, if you can afford it, get some of your company’s most well known webloggers to help draft them with you, because there is a great chance that they would know exactly what they would want to weblog about and what not. Remember, try to always keep them involved in the discussions and make them feel part of the whole exercise. You would all be much better off in the end. That is for sure.
Tags: Enterprise blogging, Enterprise Blogs, Enterprise Social Software, Enterprise 2.0, Blogging Policy, Blogging Guidelines, Social Software, Web 2.0, Knowledge Management, KM, Collaboration, Knowledge Sharing, Innovation Creators, IBM