To Blog or Not to Blog?

No matter where you look, people are talking about blogging. What are they? Who writes them? Are they credible? Did you hear about the employees that were canned for writing about their fellow employees and the company?

Like much of the Web, many companies don't have rules in place for blogging. In fact, blogging took them by surprise. As of recent, many big companies have put rules in place for employee blogging.

Rules or no rules, some people are doing it anyway. So much so that there's a relatively new term called dooce dodging. To be "dooced" means to be fired for something you posted online.

I don't know if you have read about Yahoo!'s stance. I commend them. Back in June the company officially published guidelines for employees who author personal blogs, comment on other's blogs, and/or discuss Yahoo! business or its employees:

"Whether you are posting in praise or criticism of Yahoo!, you are encouraged to develop a thoughtful argument that extends well beyond '(insert) is cool' or '(insert) sucks,'" the guidelines say.



Some companies are employing corporate bloggers. You may have heard of Robert Scoble, who's blog is called "Scobilizer." He's somewhat of a rock star in the blogosphere. He's also an executive at Microsoft. He uses his own blog to get Microsoft's customers and partners excited about his technology. He also links to Microsoft employee blogs.

In a recent interview of the Microsoft Business Solutions site, he says, "What's really going on is a shift in how people relate to corporate communications. Twenty years ago, the only way you could get product information was from the PR departments. Even articles in newspapers were based on press releases. Today people are getting their information from individuals within the companies. People don't trust companies, even companies they like. I mean, who would you rather get product information from, an individual from within the company, an engineer perhaps, or the company's PR department? Ernst and Young has done a study that showed that 70 percent of car sales are generated by word-of-mouth. Blogs bring the power of word-of-mouth to the Web." You may have heard the name Nadine Haobsh. She was the beauty editor at Ladies Home Journal who got dooced for gossiping about her job and the woman's magazine industry in her blog Jolie in NY. She was later turned down for a job at Seventeen magazine as a result of bad publicity.

USA Todayhas pieced together the story of the fired bloggers again. The article is very interesting.

On the flip side, there is also a growing number of bloggers who have been hired as a result of their insights and commentary on their blogs. According to the Virtual Handshake, there has been a rise in blog-facilitated job opportunities. There are now entire blog networks dedicated to job searching and displaying resumes.

Just as when using conventional resume and interview techniques, there are certain characteristics that a job seeker should strive to demonstrate on a weblog. A potential employer can determine the degree of your industry interest and expertise by reviewing your discussions and the types of blogs and sites you link to.

They can also get a feel for your personality and communication skills based on the style in which you write your blog. Therefore, keep in mind that since a blog provides such intimate insight into your character you should strive to demonstrate your integrity and professionalism.

It's hard to get an actual number of blogs out there today. There are well over 70 million. This list doesn't include those within Yahoo!'s 360, AOL,, and to name a few. Some blog hosts don't provide numbers. As a result, I looked at the number of feeds. That varied as well. The only figure I could find noted that there are about 2 million new feeds posted daily. The bottom line is that there are a lot of blogs. Soon blogging will be a way of life for all Netizens. Don't you think companies should get their affairs in order and figure out how they feel about blogging? What do you think? Should employee blogging be regulated and/or policed? Post to me on the SPINboard.

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