Posted on March 30, 2005 by Roland
I already briefly mentioned here this subject, but it’s time to go further. Companies who want to take advantage of blogs written by their employees, for example to improve communication with their partners or their customers, need to have a clear — and well-publicized — written document about their corporate blogging policies. Their employees need to know what is allowed — and what is forbidden.
Companies which have written this kind of document are a small minority, and most of them are high-tech companies.
However, their corporate policies do not rely on high-tech, but simply on common sense.
Here are three themes that a corporate blogging policy should include:
- A company should always consider that its employees are reasonable and can be trusted.
- It also should always think that company bloggers are acting in the company’s best interest.
- Finally, a company should not control what its employees are writing.
To summarize, a corporate blogging policy rests on a single word: trust.
Posted on March 27, 2005 by Roland
‘Smart Mobs,’ the last book from Howard Rheingold, is available in French since yesterday, from M2 Editions under the name ‘Foules Intelligentes.’
You can order it for 20 euros.
I have a copy since last Wednesday and I haven’t read it completely. However, I think that the translator, Pierre-Emmanuel Brugeron, did a nice job. Pierre-Emmanuel has not a big online presence, but you can send him some feedback about his job.
Anyway, if you’re a French-speaking person and if you haven’t read ‘Smart Mobs,’ you don’t have any more excuse. Buy ‘Foules Intelligentes’!
Posted on March 24, 2005 by Roland
According to the April issue of Technology Review, from the MIT, the company which has the best understanding of the blogging phenomenon is… Sun Microsystems. In this article, Wade Roush tells us that “more than 1,000 of Sun’s 32,000 employees blog about their work.”
Here are some excerpts from this article.
Most companies are still cautious when it comes to communicating with mainstream media outlets; employees are seldom allowed to speak with journalists without media-relations chaperones. But blogs have emerged as an exception, with more and more companies concluding that the public-relations benefits outweigh the risks.
One of those companies is Sun Microsystems, which promotes employee blogging more aggressively than any other technology firm. “Sun’s employees are our most passionate evangelists,” says Jonathan Schwartz, Sun’s president and chief operating officer and the author of a company blog read by tens of thousands of visitors every month. “From where I sit, the more our investors and customers know about us, the better.”
Of course, Sun is a high-tech company where the atmosphere leads to spontaneity and to risk taking. Other companies have cultures or modes of communication much more rigid and their employees are not allowed to publish blogs. But this can lead to some disadvantages.
Here is Wade Roush’s conclusion .
But consumer-oriented companies that abjure the blogosphere are missing out on opportunities to generate buzz, monitor customer concerns, and — perhaps most importantly — show their human side. As Schwartz puts it, “Any company that feels threatened by blogs probably feels threatened by the Internet.”
You’ll find a selection of Sun bloggers at blogs.sun.com. Here is the motto.
Welcome to Blogs.sun.com! This space is accessible to any Sun employee to write about anything.
Pretty clear, isn’t?
Posted on March 20, 2005 by Roland
This story didn’t appear on the page one of the New York Times, but the open source world did notice it. Russ Nelson, who replaced Eric Raymond as president of the Open Source Initiative, resigned because of a post published on his blog, “Blacks are lazy,” which was seen as racist by the community. Of course, in our ‘politically correct’ world, this note was seen as a big gaffe. Here is a link to an article from eWEEK, “New OSI President Steps Down.”
Russ Nelson tried to justify his original post by explaining that he just meant black people working less hard because of the lower salaries they get. But it was too late and not enough, and he had to resign.
You’ll find his explanations on his blog in “Resigning from OSI Presidency.”
You also can read his original post from February 7, 2005, but updated with this new title, “Blacks are not lazy.”
Finally, under this simple title, “Withdrawn,” Nelson explains once more that his note was not well written and “apologizes to anybody who thought that the posting itself was racist.” And in order for these explanations to move out of the normal flow of other postings, he dated this post as being written of January 1, 2001. Strange tactic…
As I already wrote it, your blog is one of your self-promotion tools. But you are entirely responsible for its contents. So read several times the notes you write before pushing the “Publish” button…
Posted on March 17, 2005 by Roland
The survey started by Blogads to know who read blogs is over. More than 30,000 people answered this survey in 2005 — to compare with 17,000 in 2004. Blog readers — at least, the ones who answered — are slightly older than last year (which sounds logical after all) and earn more money. Here is a link to the full results.
Here are some key numbers — if we can trust them. After all, any respondent could decide he was a CEO earning several million dollars…
Last year, 61% of responding blog readers were over 30 years old. This year, 75% are over 30 years old.
Last year, 40% had family incomes greater than $90,000. This year, 43% exceed that figure.
But what interested me the most was the answer to the question #9 about which magazines blog readers are subscribing to. First, I think that many respondents who said they subscribe to a given magazine are actually reading it for free on the Web.
On the other hand, if these results are correct, it looks like that the mainstream press has still a bright future.
Finally, the match between the weekly economy publications I’m regularly reading was clearly won by the Economist (12.1% of subscribers, with 2,834 answers). Only 4% of the blog readers (928 of them) said they were subscribing to BusinesWeek.
Posted on March 13, 2005 by Roland
I already wrote it here, but today, I’m receiving some heavyweight help. Tim Bray, who works now for Sun Microsystems, just published an article called “It’s Not Dangerous.”
Not only it’s not dangerous to write a blog when you’re an employee, but it will boost your career — assuming that you’re reasonably competent.
And Tim Bray gives ten reasons why blogging is good for your career. Here are three of these reasons.
1. You have to get noticed to get promoted.
2. You have to get noticed to get hired.
10. It’s a lot harder to fire someone who has a public voice, because it will be noticed.
So what are you waiting for before starting a blog?
Posted on March 9, 2005 by Roland
In the blogosphere, everybody knows that Microsoft or Sun Microsystems have hundreds of bloggers. But did you know that there are more than 2,800 active blogs at IBM? The thing is that you can’t access these blogs, because they are mainly reserved for internal use. They come from all the parts of the company, and some are even used to manage projects at IBM.
Philippe Borremans, Public Relations Manager at IBM Belgique/Luxembourg, gives some details in “Blogging at IBM,” an entry posted on the IAOC’s blog (International Association of Online Communicators). Here are some numbers given by this IBM’er.
At this moment we have about 2800 internal weblogs (on a total worldwide population of about 330.000 IBM’ers.) with about 12700 entries. About 200 blogs have more than 10 posts on them…
In the case of blogs used to manage projects, IBM has very well understood the potential of the tool.
In this case blogs are used to get the team on “the same page” with regards to progress being made or issues being tackled.
Of course, IBM also has external blogs, written by some very well-known developers. You’ll find a list of these developers on this page aptly named Blogs at developerWorks.
Note: Thanks to Neville Hobson who covered the story in “IBM Has 2 800 Internal Blogs,” a note published by Webpronews.com.
Posted on March 7, 2005 by Roland
Ephraim Schwartz, from InfoWorld, attended in February the annual DEMO conference. And he saw the emergence of a new trend. Big companies want to control more and more what their employees are publishing. In “Start-ups offer blog and e-mail monitoring,” Schwartz describes several products allowing for these tighter controls.
The title of the article is a little bit misleading, as three over four of the products mentioned in it allow only for email monitoring, with different levels of intrusion: OutBoxer from InBoxer, the IPLocks’s suite and Fortiva Archive.
On the contrary, WhatCounts introduced an appliance named BlogUnit which intercepts the employees’ posts before publication, and can redirect them to a manager, the Human Resources department or even a legal adviser.
Imagine what would happen if every note you wanted to publish needed to be approved by a lawyer…
It is also interesting to note that WhatCounts’s CEO, David Geller, has a blog, available from this link, but that he doesn’t allow comments. Where is the dialog?
Posted on March 4, 2005 by Roland
Henry Copeland, from Blogads, is starting a new survey to know who are blog readers, and also why and how they’re looking at them. Last year, more than 17,000 people answered the survey, which should not take you more than five minutes to fill. But the number of respondents has to be bigger in 2005 than in 2004, so I’m inviting you to fill this new survey.
And don’t forget to mention my technical blog (www.primidi.com/) as the answer to question #16 — if you enjoy reading it of course. I’ll update you about results when they become available.
Here is what Copeland wrote in an email two days ago.
Though the survey is unabashadly unscientific, the results will help us better excite advertisers, journalists and the public about the huge and unique audiences blogs serve. I hope some interesting year-over-year trends will emerge, since most of these questions are identical to last year’s.
Did you know for example that more than 60% of blog readers were older than 30 years old, and 75% were earning at least $75K per year. Not the exact teenagers, isn’t?
Here is a link to additional results from last year’s survey.
Posted on March 3, 2005 by Roland
I’ve read several very interesting stories about social networking sites recently. Some recruitment cabinets are using them to fill some positions, even executive ones. But more and more voices are raising doubts, especially early adopters, who are dumping their two dozens of accounts already opened.
In “From Contact to Contract” (neat title), Employee Management writes that many entrepreneurs and even professional recruiters are using services such as LinkedIn, Ryze.com, Spoke.com, or one of the two other dozen social networking sites to fill professional positions, even executive ones.
Of course, human resources consulting firms are still also relying on more traditional tools, like their ‘real’ social networks. But in “‘Social Web’ Has Far To Go, But Much Promise,” the American Reporter is more skeptical about the usability of these social networking sites, saying that they are making contacts more difficult instead of easier.
And Stowe Boyd, from Corante, concurs, by unlinking from social networking applications he subscribed to in a recent past (links to part 1 and to part 2).
So what do you think about these applications? Have you ever used one? And if yes, have you seen some benefits? Please read all the above articles before answering these questions or these selected excerpts and comments if you don’t have enough time.