Most of us get a large percentage of our blogging material from work. Maybe you work with hilarious (intentionally or otherwise) colleagues, or you work in a particularly interesting industry – or one so boring that you have plenty of time to write about it. Regardless, we spend a huge chunk of our time at work, so naturally it gets reflected in our personal blogs.
A lot of companies are starting to develop policies on employees who blog about the company. The best way to find out your company’s policy is to ask your boss. You will probably be reluctant to do this. Your blog is the place where you blow off steam or mock your coworkers, comfortable in the knowledge that they will never know about it. If you start drawing attention to your blog, who knows what will happen?
Here’s my advice: always bet that your boss and colleagues are going to find your blog. Even if you blog under a different name, you never know who’s going to find it in your browser history, or hear about it from a mutual friend, or any one of a hundred possibilities.
Find out – from your boss or another manager, NOT from the guy in the next cubicle – what the policy is on blogging. If they’re okay with it, great. If not, you still have options.
If you work for Subway, for example, you might do a search and replace on your entries. Change the company name, and change the food they make. Change all employee names. You can even change the name of the city you work in. And, of course, change your own name. Voila: you now have a blog, written on your own personal time, which has nothing to do with your job. Your managers have every right to ask you not to defame the company, but in my opinion they shouldn’t demand that you stop blogging altogether. If they are still demanding it, ask for a meeting and have a calm discussion about your options. The more reasonable you are, the more likely that they’ll see you’re not out to destroy the company.
Have you ever been hassled by your boss about your blog? Do you know your company’s policy on blogging, and do you agree with it? I’m interested to hear what people’s experiences have been, and whether corporate attitudes towards employee blogs are becoming more rigid or more relaxed.