Apparently, last month Microsoft fired “long-term temporary” employee Michael Hanscom for an entry Hanscom made to his personal weblog about some new Macintosh computers arriving at Microsoft, and that also mentioned some information about the layout of the Microsoft campus. Microsoft deemed the campus information to be some kind of security breach, and let Hanscom go. (Here’s Hanscom’s entry describing his firing.)
My only quibble with Blogger’s advice is their suggestion to modify an anti-blog corporate culture by distributing The Cluetrain Manifesto. I know this book and site are very popular in some segments of the business world, but I honestly think Cluetrain is not the best choice to try to persuade fiercely anti-blog, total-control-over-all-communication types of managers and executives. It’s way too flip and rabid for their tastes.
I’ve got a better idea, I think….
In my opinion, a better move would be to first show the benefits of running a company weblog. This article by Jim Carroll, published in Marketing Magazine, is a good introduction to the topic. Also, show your anti-blog boss this June 2003 New York Times article, “The Corporate Blog Is Catching On.” (Free registration required.)
UPDATE NOV. 28: I just found a white paper about using RSS for corporate communications that would be another great introductory resource for blog-shy bosses. Read more…)
An Aug. 14, 2002 entry from the Loosely Coupled blog details the pros and cons of corporate blogging. You may want to read that but not show it immediately to your anti-blog boss, in order to better anticipate and address key issues and concerns about corporate blogging.
Once the bosses are intrigued by the idea of a corporate weblog, you might slip them this February post from the Scobleizer weblog, “The Corporate Weblog Manifesto.”
Then, after they’re positively tuned in to the weblog concept from a corporate standpoint, show the bosses that they don’t have to be afraid fo your personal weblog. Policies make bosses feel safe, so show them that there are intelligent ways to handle corporate policies about employees’ personal blogs. Software company Groove Networks has done a pretty good job of this, I think.
I think this approach stands a better chance of success than Cluetrain.