Part of our “blog usability” series.
IBM’s frontpage focus on blogging inspired me to dig into their blogging policy and guidelines (created by the bloggers in an internal forum):
Guidelines for IBM bloggers: executive summary
- Know and follow IBM’s Business Conduct Guidelines.
- Blogs, wikis and other forms of online discourse are individual interactions, not corporate communications. IBMers are personally responsible for their posts. Be mindful that what you write will be public for a long time—protect your privacy.
- Identify yourself – name and, when relevant, role at IBM – when you blog about IBM or IBM-related matters. And write in the first person. You must make it clear that you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of IBM.
- If you publish a blog or post to a blog outside of IBM and it has something to do with work you do or subjects associated with IBM, use a disclaimer such as this: “The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.”
- Respect copyright, fair use and financial disclosure laws.
- Don’t provide IBM’s or another’s confidential or other proprietary information. Ask permission to publish or report on conversations that are meant to be private or internal to IBM.
- Don’t cite or reference clients, partners or suppliers without their approval.
- Respect your audience. Don’t use ethnic slurs, personal insults, obscenity, etc., and show proper consideration for others’ privacy and for topics that may be considered objectionable or inflammatory – such as politics and religion.
- Find out who else is blogging on the topic, and cite them.
- Don’t pick fights, be the first to correct your own mistakes, and don’t alter previous posts without indicating that you have done so.
- Try to add value. Provide worthwhile information and perspective.
After blogging for one year, we find ourselves applying similar guidelines. Though we have not written down guidelines in Capgemini for this (not that I know of), we can easily nod to each of these guidelines.
Back in May we discussed the value of a blog commenting policy, which is mostly directed at a blog’s audience. The guidelines here are aimed at the authors.
I’m quite curious here: Who else have blogging guidelines at work, or privately? Please post links or text from similar guidelines.
Could guidelines like these help people that want to start blogging? Or does it scare people off? Your comments appreciated!