Not every business maintains a blog, but a growing number of its employees do and the last few years have highlighted the risk associated with mixing your personal opinions with your day job.
In 2008 the anonymous blogger “Troll Tracker” – who ran a blog devoted to speaking out against bad business practices at the company he worked for (Cisco) – was identified by his employer and now faces a defamation law suit. Other examples of this include airline worker Ellen Simonetti being fired for images she placed on her blog and most famously web designer Heather B. Armstrong (or “Dooce”) who discussed her coworkers in her blog posts and was let go as a result of it.
Tips For Careful Blogging
1. Avoid discussing your work in detail.
One of the most common pieces of advice given by professional writers is to “Write what you know”. If you plan on starting a blog, writing about your job seems like the best way to make sure you’ve always got something new to write about; but in order to keep yourself from drawing the attention of your company, try to stick to talking about your industry as a whole instead.
2. Check Your Company’s Policy on Blogging
Not mentioning your job only goes so far. If your company has a strict code of conduct in relation to what can be said by its employees online, it’s safe to say you may be running too great a risk discussing even your industry let alone your day to day work.
3. Stay off the company blog listing unless told to do so.
This may seem counter to what I’ve said so far, but blogging under the scrutinizing glare of your company’s HR Czar is sure to make everything about blogging less enjoyable. To avoid this simply don’t mention your blog to coworkers and never inquire as to whether your company has a list.