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Avoid getting fired for blogging Abril 7, 2005

Posted by Vasco in Blogs.
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Blog with caution

If you’re thinking of starting a blog or already have one, here’s some advice to make sure your online diary isn’t reason for your employer to let you go:

1. Know where your company stands: Ask about the company blogging policy before you start, even if you are doing it anonymously, one dismissed blogger advises. Does your company establish boundaries? Is blogging acceptable? Is it OK to mention your employer? Are there topics that are off-limits? What are the consequences?

2. Blog on your own time: If you are using company hardware, a company network or doing it on company time, you are likely bound by company policy and could be reprimanded or terminated for wrongful use, Haefner says.

3. Practice safe blogs: “Employees who go around sharing negative or confidential information about their company, product or service — either internal or external — to the company would and should get fired,” says Pete Quintas, CTO of SilkRoad Technology, creator of an enterprise blogging application called Silkblogs. “You need to be honest and not secretive about what you are writing unless you are willing to deal with the consequences.”

4. Don’t hide it from your boss: Quintas says you should be honest about your blogging and ask your employer if it is OK to do. “I would consider it analogous to asking your employer: ‘I have been invited to speak on a panel at this industry conference; can I participate?’ “

5. Use good judgment: If you consider blogs and the Internet an extension of your voice, what you say on your blog about your company, product or service should be kept within the guidelines of what you would say in public, according to Quintas. “Treat it with the same restraint of how you talk in person about your company, remembering that more people have access to what you say,” he suggests.

6. Others will disagree with you: You can’t please all people all of the time. As with any communications medium, the best advice is to be aware of the repercussions your decisions may have, Wright warns. “Anytime you post, you are effectively making a choice between being safe and having something worthwhile to say,” he says. “It’s a rare occasion where you can both please everyone and come up with a new and engaging line of thought. Sometimes things you say will offend people, no matter where you’re saying them.”

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