Now that blogs have hit the mainstream companies are beginning to take notice. Just a few weeks ago I was in a company brainstorming meeting when someone made the suggestion of creating a company blog. The idea had been tossed around before, but this time it hit a nerve. I had just received my issue of Fortune Magazine with the group of bloggers on the cover, and so I passed around a few ideas and offered to help get things rolling.
A couple of days into the process I began to think if creating a blog for my employer was such a good thing. Like any employee, there are good and bad things about any job. There are great benefits in some areas while others are weaker. The whole nature of blogging entails writing openly and honestly. It’s the person’s opinion that should come through in any blog, and I wasn’t sure that would be possible or even desireable in this capacity. I eventually decided that tossing my name into the ring on this corporate blogging endeavor wasn’t a good idea for my career.
I was saddened to hear that Mark Jen from Google was fired for posts related to his blog. I read through much of his blog and was surprised he was so critical of Google’s benefits so early in his career there. There is some confusion on what grounds he was eventually fired, but from what I can gather, it had something to do with divulging company financial matters that should have been kept private. Mark was a former Microsoft employee and I’m left to wonder if Microsoft would have acted as quickly and harshly as Google did.
I’m sure many companies are quietly at work drafting up a blogging policy for employees. I wonder how soon it will be included in most employment contracts. The Age of Inocence is sadly over.
Update: Mark Jen responds to his firing from Google