Blogging outside the firewall

19 06 2008

I’ve not written a post for a while because I’ve been pondering the question of what I can take outside the firewall. My blogging career began when I was an Australian social media consultant running my own business but now I work inside the corporate firewall. As an independent I could write about whatever I wanted, the corporate policies I was answerable to were my own.

What I learn here is my intellectual capital and those experiences are what I’ll take to new clients and employers. However, the specifics belong to my current employer and as such I must limit myself to general observations about best practices, which is going to require much more filtering on my part than has been necessary before.

I’m not alone in this and have been canvassing experiences from others. If you have any observations or advice, I’m open 🙂

 

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3 responses

19 06 2008
Dane Glerum

It is a very interesting point. After reading over my comment I’m not sure if it counts as advice, an observation or a rant 🙂

The reach of corporate policies over our freedom of expression has always been a difficult issue, however it is becoming increasingly more complex.

For example if I have a private blog that I publish on my own time and with my own resources what power does my employer have over the content? Am I free to say what I want? Am I nothing more than a freelance journalist who happens to have an excellent inside source (myself)? How does this differ to talking to my friends in the pub after work?

Some would argue that it is dependent on how the media is marketed. If you link to or promote your external blog from posts within the firewall then you are drawing a direct link between your corporate identity and your personal identity. Thus the ‘behind the firewall’ rules apply. Just like if you stood up at work and announced ‘lets go to the pub to complain about policy x or y’. Not a wise idea.

If however you do not promote your blog from behind the firewall and a fellow employee happens to stumble across it, then what. What if I work under an alias, publishing scathing comments on the practices of my employer. Similar to having one to many drinks and complaining about policy x or y in a pub where another employee can hear.

This is the gray area that makes people a bit uncomfortable and really stagnates innovation. We want to share our knowledge using new media. We want to collaborate. We know it works because we do it on our own time. We want to bring this culture of freedom and collaboration behind the firewall but does the firewall want to let us in?

I wish I had some answers but all I have is questions.

19 06 2008
Dane Glerum

Oh and of course this all assumes that the comments being made are negative. If I were to say something positive about my employer, and there are a lot of things, then I am sure they would be thrilled to see it.

Maybe employers need to focus on giving employees more positive things to talk about rather than trying to prevent them from saying negative things.

22 06 2008
Blogging outside the firewall #2 « Inside the Box

[…] outside the firewall #2 22 06 2008 In his comments on my first post about this, Dane raises some interesting points. I got where I am through an eclectic route – from law […]

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