Friday, July 14, 2006

Where is the line for people who blog about work?

A few of my co-workers were chatting this morning about how much a person like myself should say when blogging about product development issues. It is a tough question. In my role at Factiva, I'm privy to product development and business plans which would be very interesting to write about. The things we wrestle with when deciding new product features and where to take the business would make for interesting writing. However, revealing such things could be ba for business. We don't want to tip our hands to the competition. (Are you reading this, guys?)

But at the same time our customers (and even our Sales team!) appreciate when we talk about our innovation and what's coming next. So it's a fine line.

Factiva has taken a very bold step encouraging its employees to blog. Trusting that we will figure out where the line is and not cross it. Perhaps one of us will say too much, but I think the trust that our employer gives us also fosters loyalty which would discourage us from doing something to harm the company.

The other aspect is the challenge of balancing honesty with common sense. This is the harder one. How much can I or should I say about my feelings about bad decisions or corporate mistakes. I don't think there are lots of them at Factiva, but let's face it, all companies make 'em. I'm still not sure where that line is.

So, I'll keep talking about things that I think are interesting, but for now I'll also keep holding back those things that are really interesting. (Like what the director of Factiva Core Products is really like.)


daniela barbosa said...

hey glen, i hear ya. i am not as privy as you are and out here in the wild wild west i am even less connected to the awesome stuff you folks on working on, but i also struggle in how much to say especially about engagements that i am delivering to clients. it definately takes me longer to post when i am posting about something directly with the services i provide.

i use Google Analytics to track hits etc. and Ohio and Boston keeps popping up- maybe just a coincidence ;-)

Melanie Surplice said...

Glenn, it's tricky alright - even recounting what can be amusing discussions with other colleagues on your blog can easily fall in to the realm of "don't go there".

I think the brewing story of Catherine, the British secretary who was sacked for blogging about her personal life, will be an interesting one to follow.

I'd rather work for an employer that encourages blogging, any day!