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One Less Blogger

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Found this on Tuvel:Mitch Arnowitz.

-Guy with a blog “googles” a perspective employer prior to his job interview.
-Company loves that our blogger friend has researched the firm.
-Company returns the favor and “googles” our blogger friend.
-Company finds our blogger friend’s blog.
-Company offers our blogger friend a job…BUT… with the understanding he does not blog during working hours.

“I figured I’d still have time to blog on evenings and weekends, but time has proven me wrong. I’m working long hours in this job — I expected that, after how late my interview had gone — but what I didn’t realize was how valuable my remaining free time would start to be. As much as I enjoy it, blogging on evenings and weekends is time spent away from my wife and son.”

End Page
-Nothing posted since March 2004.

-One less blogger in the blogosphere.
-From comments posted it was a good blog.
Gedankenpundit you are missed.

Lesson Learned
If you’re blogging from work use the timing thing on your blog software.

P.s At least the company allowed our blogger friend to keep his blog. Many companies are insisting that bloggers zap their personal blogs.

1. Some companies consider employees’ off-company activities to be a reflection of the organization. [Does this have anything to do with internal branding? Or is it the old “company store” mentality? One has to wonder…] “When you write in a Web log it’s making statements in public.” Greg Herbert, a lawyer specializing in free speech and intellectual property with the Greenberg Traurig firm in Orlando, Fla.
2. More education needed within the business community
3. More main stream media coverage needed about the smart work that is happening in the biz
Complements of a Diva Marketing post.

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About Toby

  • If employers expect employees to take their job home, they must accept that they also will bring their home to work ..

  • Jason Koulouras

    Strikes me that unless your blog states things about your company or people in your company that it is none of the companies business whether you maintain a blog or not (or write a book for that matter!)

    Are companies going to suggest next that people cannot write letters and e-mails

    Agreed on how this approach reflects Old company store mentality

    Good post

  • It would be important to know some more details about the terms of accepting this employment. The erstwhile blogger must have agreed to the number of hours, no? Was the blogger instructed not to use the company’s property for uses other than company business? An employer can have any expectation they wish, but it is up to the employee to decide whether or not to accept the expectations. I have certainly walked from jobs opportunities that asked too great a demand of my time.

    Where does the company store charge end? Is it ok to run a personal errand with the company vehicle? To use the company cell phone to make a personal call? To use the company accounts buying extra supplies, some of which go home?

    Some will say that any use of company equipment is theft, no matter the degree. My opinion is that it is based on agreements between employee and employer.

    I sometimes blog on the company computer during my lunch, but I won’t use any company equipment on company time. Of course, I’m under huge scrutiny since the company is county government, and I play for a minority politcal party.

  • srp

    this is an excellent post and makes excellent points, i think. i’ve thought of this myself and i think it becomes even more pertinent as you move higher and higher ujp within a company. in other words, teh more well known you are and the higher your job title, the more important your persona will be, and that is reflected in your blog. A blog feels like a safe place, but if it’s an honest blog, as most i think are, then it can be dangerous for the company you work for because it may interfere with their brand strategvy and how they position themselves. so if you work for Gillettte, for example but are also an animal rights activist or something, even though this is on your own time, it would affect how you are perceived. And even more so if you were a director. I try to steer clear of topics that relate to my job for precisely this reason: i have, naturally, a lot to say abouot my field and would consider that information important, but it’s not always in line with our corporate brand strategy. I too try not to blog during work hours. I usually write in the evenings or on the weekends or very occasionally, i will post a piece during my lunch hour and read blogcritics news etc. —

    thanjks for this. you raise a good point and it was interesting to read. I’d love to know of any specific examples (more) that you know about. Has anyone lost their job because of this? just curious. It’s an interesting legal issue as well.


    srp – sadi

  • He is lucky not to have mentioning a blog become a problem. However, unless one somehow knows that having a weblog will be viewed positively, I still think it is best to keep mum. There is still too much of a potential for trouble. I think it best not to blog in the workplace unless one has express permission to. Most people still don’t know what a weblog is. And, most people take a negative view of the unknown.

  • bhw

    Can an employee be prevented from writing a letter to the editor of the local newspaper? Isn’t a letter to the editor basically the same form of expression — opinion — as having a blog?

    Where does an employer’s right to control an employee’s public “persona” begin and that employee’s right to free speech end?

  • Good question. The most simple answer (which will not apply when contractual obligations override it) is that most people are employees at will. They can be fired for anything their employer finds offensive or for no reason at all. The only barriers are usually violations of statutes against discrimination and retaliation. Sometimes a union can intervene. But, most folks are unprotected. So, anything that exposes the worker to scrutiny is a potential problem.