March 8, 2005 4:00 AM PST
FAQ: Blogging on the job
(continued from previous page)
company could file a "John Doe" lawsuit in an effort to unmask you by sending a subpoena to the blog hosting company. Annoying the federal government could also be trouble. In a September 2004 opinion, one federal judge wrote: "The FBI theoretically could also issue a (secret request) to discern the identity of someone whose anonymous online Web log, or 'blog,' is critical of the government."
To shield yourself from lawsuits and other legal worries, posting to your blog through a service like Anonymizer.com might be a safer choice.
Do all companies consider blogging an activity unrelated to work?
No. Some companies view blogs as a good marketing mechanism and encourage employees to create them. If that's the case, it's reasonable to update your blog on the company clock. Check with your manager if you're unsure of your company's policies. If blogging at the office is OK, you should still be clear about how much time your boss expects you to spend on it. If your blog is strictly extracurricular, do it in your spare time.
Does that mean blogging could boost my career?
The chances that someone will find your blog are low. Only 3 percent of companies read job candidates' blogs before deciding whether to hire them. That said, as blogs become more noticeable, they could help or hurt your career, depending on what you write. Highly personal information could turn a prospective employer off, while nonpersonal commentary that shows off your job-related expertise might impress someone.
Has blogging helped anyone land a job?
Yes. Robert Scoble said blogging helped him land a gig at Microsoft a couple of years ago. A Microsoft executive became a fan of Scoble's tech-focused blog and eventually hired him from NEC. Scoble said the blog's honest observations, including some criticisms of Microsoft, helped win over his future boss.
Marketing consultant Elisa Camahort used her blogging habit to launch a writing career. The Santa Clara County Democratic Party pays her to write its blog, and a weekly Silicon Valley paper has hired her as a food columnist. She advises job-seeking bloggers to forgo the dear-diary approach and write instead in an informed way about topics they are passionate about--politics and culture, in her case.
Are there some examples of high-profile workplace bloggers?
Yes, some companies have embraced blogs as a powerful communication tool, and some top executives now publish blogs. Examples include: Jonathan Schwartz, president of Sun Microsystems; Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks owner; Bob Lutz of General Motors; and Microsoft's Scoble.
Are there any blogs about workplace blogging?
Yes, there are several concerning blogs as a marketing tool. Here are a few:
23 commentsJoin the conversation! Add your comment