I suppose everything has to have rules. Especially in blogging. The
latest set of rules comes from Nicholas Carr -- Seven
rules for corporate blogging
-- in response to Robert
Scoble's somewhat interesting week
. You gotta admit, Scoble just
lets it all hang out there, right? I continue to be impressed with his
daily displays, too. It's just too much fun to watch and learn from --
even though I obviously disagree with his Windows and Office stuff. I
also wonder what he eats to keep up that pace. I only met Scoble once,
but he has a remarkable ability to make you feel comfortable, which is
cool because I tend to freeze up around stars. I suppose that's why
he's a good blogger. Seems like an interesting guy.
Anyway, Carr (also an interesting guy, although he's more quiet than
his writing implies) offers seven rules to guide new corporate
bloggers. I can see how Carr's ideas would be useful for a fairly
conservative company offering a marketing-based corporate blog
experience. Not Sun, in other words. But there are three sentences
stuffed in his list of rules that really go against my experience
blogging for Sun.
According to Carr:
If you give bloggers too much freedom,
they may "go native" and tarnish your reputation by writing something
I'm not sure what it means to "go native" but here at blogs.sun.com we
have a massive amount of freedom. Heck, the original blogging policy
was simply "don't be stupid" or something like that. Even the current
is very empowering. For Scott and Jonathan to have given us
all this freedom is extraordinary. It builds trust. And when someone
gives you a gift like that, they are telling you that you've earned it.
As a result, you honor the relationship, and you don't really need
rules to keep you in line. I'm sure we've had a few people do a dumb
thing or two these past two years, but it's really quite rare
considering how many bloggers we have.
For companies, blogging should be
treated as another channel for
corporate communications, with its own strengths and weaknesses. You
should use that channel to get your message out, not to give employees
a sand pile for self-expression.
On this one, I think blogs.sun.com is successful because we don't
deliver messages from
corporate communications, and the team that set up blogs.sun.com had
nothing to do with corporate communications. Blogging and corporate
communications are two entirely different paradigms. And as far as the
"sand pile for self-expression" is concerned ... well ... after two
years of blogging I still here from developers and customers that they
are thankful for all our blogs because they can get to know the Sun
trusted to express ourselves personally. That's a powerful
community-building dynamic. So, I think we need to keep the sand pile.
It's fun playing in the sand, you know.
So, there you have it. I hope I didn't take those three sentence out of
context too much. Carr's post (as usual) is long, so take a peak and
see what you think.