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Blogging with the Boss’s Blessing

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Blogging with the Boss’s Blessing from Business Week by Michelle Conlin and Andrew Park

More companies are helping employees to speak freely — and bond with customers

Until recently, the thought of employees blabbing freely to the masses about their work on company time — without the suits from PR hovering over them to stay “on message” — would have created panic in the executive suite. But in the past year, employee blogs have begun to multiply across Corporate America — and a growing number of companies approve. It started mostly as a techie thing when engineers and product developers at places such as Macromedia, Sun Microsystems (SUNW ), and Dell (DELL ) began posting first-draft free-for-alls of their own volition as a way of communicating with customers, each other, and the outside world. Though employees represent just a fraction of the 2.7 million bloggers today, experts predict they will grow robustly as consumers demand information in a more unvarnished way.

Microsoft has been one of the biggest evangelists. A year ago, it had about 100 corporate bloggers. Today there are 800. They post pictures of company refrigerators — there’s one that has all Coke and one that has all Pepsi — and spout off on everything from the death of Boots the cat to renaming Longhorn, Microsoft’s long-anticipated new operating system, “Longwait.” Indeed, Chairman William H. Gates III is so certain that corporate blogging is the next gold rush in communications that he’s practically handing out the pails and shovels by enabling any employee to create a blog within two seconds. Microsoft doesn’t train employees in the fine art of blogs, but employees hold meetings to talk about them. The blogs carry disclaimers, but other than that, “our unspoken policy on blogging is: Don’t be stupid,” says product manager Adam Sohn.

: Free world of Bloggers

Via: Scripting News

Written by anol

June 22nd, 2004 at 7:40 am

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