Lisa William’s on Blogging Policies

Lisa Williams has a terrific article on the policies and ethics which surround blogging. I’m actually most concerned with the actions of employers: the word of people being fired for the contents of their blogs frankly fills me with a bit of sadness and dread. What will the world be like if this powerful new technology for human communication is stifled by fear over your employer’s response to whatever you might write? Previously one’s employer had relatively little control over what one said, it would seem to me tragic if that freedom was lost on the verge of a communications revolution.

This seems like a good topic for a future podcast. Check out Lisa’s article though: really good stuff.

One thought on “Lisa William’s on Blogging Policies”

  1. Mark — you should listen to the “Emotional Life” session of Bloggercon III — it’s up on IT Conversations. Despite the title, a lot of people talked about workplace + blog issues.
    More and more people are employees at will or work in “right to work” (read: if you work you haven’t got any rights) states, so they can be fired for no reason at all.
    What’s interesting to me is when people are bloggging about nonwork issues and work gets upset about that. There’s a polite fiction that people who work at, say, an office, don’t really exist when not at the office — a polite fiction that’s increasingly hard to maintain when you can Google people.

    What will be *really* interesting is as more people switch to being “knowledge workers,” what will employers do as they realize that the worker has the means of production locked up in a bone box on top of their shoulders with two videocameras and a siren on the front of it? A blog is a very public demonstration that the workers own the means of production in a knowledge job, so of course it makes employers antsy even if the worker never says word one about the workplace.

    Editor’s note: I agree with you. If the only face that one is allowed to express in public are those which have been vetted by your employer, even if they have nothing to do with your job or your employer, that can only have a very chilling affect on freedom of speech. This kind of stifling of free expression comes not from the government (where controls such as the Constitution protect individuals) but from simple economics: you need your job, and if for any reason your employer doesn’t think that what you are saying reflects well on the company, then you can be replaced.

    Over the years I’ve taken stock of exactly what parts of my personality I wish to share on the Internet and archive forever in the many search engine entries in which I appear. As time goes on, I wonder if I’ve been paranoid enough. 🙂

    Oh, and for extra information, has a nice intro to “at-will” employment laws.

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