Anurag Jain's Blog
Monday, September 05, 2005

Blogging and information disclosure

Plain-vanilla 'Blogging' is out. Corporate Blogging is in. Toady's Times of India carries an article (Text version, Graphics version) where Vinita Shetty puts together diverse points of view on the topic. Outside of the article, I am publishing my more-detailed take here.

(click for bigger version)

About corporate blogging, I sure have heard of this practice but not so much in Indian context really. In fact, corporate (official) blogging is non-existent (yes, ZERO) in India. Employees blogging on their personal life is different though.

About issuing a blogging fatwa to employees, I think a blanket diktat is not fair. But yes, employees need to be made aware of the privacy and ethics issues involved in involuntary/voluntray disclosure of information. Especially considering the fact that 'bloggers' are 'usually' in the age group 20-25 (in India), its a good idea on the part of company to make them aware of issues involved in dealing with the outside world when it comes to information related to the company. Insofar as that purpose is served, company is well within the sphere of best practices. But, as a 'birthright' to ban employees' blogging, companies would be wrong to do that.

Another issue is productivity. Most of the bloggers I see seem to be techies killing time in office by writing and reading blogs. The tech desk jobs with all-time connectivity are conducive to the practice of blogging and hence lead to a waste of time.

Summing up, banning the blogs doesn't defeat the 'idea of blogging', because if you wanna blog about a particular incident/information, you can still write about it despite the ban, only this time with anonymity or by hiding the names of individuals/corporates involved. It's the old-age question of how much to reveal. People have to act responsibly, and within limits. Net is full of examples of indiscreet behaviour. And with this so-called new publishing-paradigm of blogging, people involved have to learn to respect the privacy and ethics issues. There are only gainers, no losers in this game.


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