Are we crazy for blogging?


Reading a lot of posts from people surprised about how many Microsoft employees blog (and the fact that executive management allows it). Recently, some posts on the idea of recruiters blogging…surprising?  Are we crazy?


Does it help to know that we all go home to our spouses, kids and dogs? That we all have hobbies…and opinions?


I  love that it’s OK to do this here. It’s part of my job (which I also love, by the way).


What are your thoughts on the subject? Is it dangerous for employees to have a public forum to express opinions AND say who they work for? Can your professional interface to your customers and your personal opinion outlet reside at the same address?


 


 

Comments (5)

  1. Shane King says:

    What sort of a world do we live in if you don’t recognise that companies do infact consist of employees who have their own needs, motivations and thoughts?

    It sounds like a pretty totalitarian utopia to expect employees not to hold opinions of their own, ones which wont always agree with their employer.

  2. Guy Sofer says:

    I think the problematic situation start when you are sharing opinions and knowledge we gain or adopt while working for our employer who pay us from his money in order that we will have the opportunity to gain new skills for his advantages.

    I think most of us sign a confidential agreement before we start to work for our employer,in which we are obligated to keep any knowledge (sometimes it’s called opinions) we get during our daily work private.

    For example – you find a great tip while working with one of the ASP.NET controls at your work office. Can u share it with other? Is it absolutely right to do so? After you find this amazing tip you have changed your opinion on this control – can you share it with other?

    Another example – you found a great web site after 1.5 hours of searching in the net at your work office. Then you browse in the site content for another 1.5 hour and read its articles which you find helpful (again – in your work office). Can you share it with other?

    I’ve just started my own blog 1 week ago and I explained why I want to blog ( http://weblogs.asp.net/guys/archive/2004/03/16/90262.aspx ) – I still confused what I alloed to publish there

    I also want to post a short walkthrough on how to represent an HTML Entry form as XML. I had to do the design in work and I would like to share it with others. I did not invent anything new but still, do I have the right to publish this post?

  3. John Dowdell says:

    "Is it dangerous for employees to have a public forum to express opinions AND say who they work for? Can your professional interface to your customers and your personal opinion outlet reside at the same address?"

    It’s a hard question. Blogging isn’t really anything new here… just a different delivery channel compared to what we’ve seen in newsgroups and mailing lists for years. It’s a little more acute now, though, because blogging is intrinsically more reputation-based than other online discussion is.

    Longtime maxim: If you’re talking about your business area, then you’ve *got* to reveal your affiliation, because it’s too expensive if others do it for you…!

    The core problem is that we’re simultaneously trying to represent multiple constituencies: the person writing; the people reading; the people with whom one works; customers; investors; more. There’s a lot of different interests simultaneously at play.

    I’m glad that MS recruitment staff have something to say, and that they do so… it’s good to have that perspective be searchable, good to have realtime reactions to pertinent worldly affairs.

    "Can your professional interface to your customers and your personal opinion outlet reside at the same address?" Depends on what the details might be, and how they might conflict in the minds of your various audiences…. 😉

    To handle this, I try to focus on unifying topics, rather than divisive topics. "Why are people bothering to read me?"… that’s the big stabilizer. I’ve seen a lot of cases in tech-blogging where the Technorati ranking seems to go to someone’s head, and "they want to hear everything I think" seems to become the underlying motivator. When techbloggers start spouting off ill-researched political views I don’t want to publicly bring up inconvenient observations and risk shaming them (and ruining future relationships), and so usually just end up not reading them anymore instead. "Why are people reading me?" and "What can I do for the benefit of all concerned?" seem to be more useful forms of the question than "Should I write about my opinion on X?"

    Your thoughts…?

    Regards,

    John Dowdell

    Macromedia Support