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Yahoo! publishes employee blog guidelines

UPDATE (Aug 2005): I was having a bit of a bad day when I wrote this blog post – when it looked like the BBC blog policy was going to be very restrictive. A few things have changed since then, and although the BBC blog policy isn’t public yet (and thus I can’t talk about the specifics of it) suffice to say it’s actually not that bad – just common sense stuff. I’m still not happy about adopting it, however, out of principle.

I have also edited this page a little to remove a slightly ambiguous statement I made which didn’t entirely represent my views.

Jeremy has published a copy of the Yahoo! Employee Blog Guidelines. I haven’t had a chance to review them yet, but it’s déjà vu… The BBC is also in the process of writing a set of standards (ie you MUST – as apposed to guidelines, ie you SHOULD) for it’s employees to follow when blogging.

Sure, I respect my employment contractual obligations and NDA clause. But I don’t feel the BBC has the right to have an editorial influence over blog. Particularly when I’ve been blogging pre any blogging policy announcement. I don’t, for example, expect the BBC to tell me I can’t write unfavourably about a BBC decision or project.

Bloggers shouldn’t be afraid to be edgy. It’s about acknowledging that being “on message” is not the only valid perspective about a company (be it one you work for, one you buy products from, etc).

It’s not even as if I’m writing anything out-spoken on my blog – I think this has been the first critical post I’ve written about the BBC (other then my own self-criticism of the BBC News AV Player). In fact, I think my blogging about my work makes me a great advocate for the BBC – I’m proud to be a part of this great organisation. And anyway, hasn’t Scobleizer’s outspokenness and honesty bought some integrity back to the Microsoft operation? I’d love to be the “Scobleizer of the BBC”, maybe I should try and find some similar fodder about the BBC, after all??!?

But hey, I won’t be signing up to any employee blog guidelines. And if I get handed my p45 (our version of “the pink slip”) I’ll let you know – you can trust me on that one!

Published in Thoughts and Rants