Big Blue Blogging Army

It’s been known for some time that there are hundreds of bloggers toiling away inside IBM and representing the company to their various audiences. This week, IBM announced support for this grassroots movement and is encouraging any of its 320,000 employees to take up the blog.

“We’re not telling our people what to say, we could never do that. It’s a natural extension of the work IBM has been doing for many decades, in establishing its expertise in key areas,” Jim Finn, senior communications executive at IBM told Silicon Valley Watcher.

Tom Forenski of the SiliconValleyWatcher describes the move as something that, “would hlep establish IBM’s thought leadership in global IT markets.” In related news, James Snell of IBM has posted the IBM corporate blogging policy which is a good read for anyone else thinking of launching similar “massive corporate wide blogging initiatives.”

Bloggers & the Law

Those looking for a little legal advice on corporate blogging would do well to read Ephraim Schwartz’s column in last week’s InfoWorld magazine. He’s done some of the footwork and consulted with several attorneys and summarized his findings. Much of what he says map to the guidelines that have been published by others but it’s always helpful to get the legal perspective.

1. Negative opinions stated as fact can be interpreted as "trade disparagement" or liable.
2. Republishing too much material under your name could be interpreted as copyright infringement.
3. Stay away from any statements about earnings rumors on future strategy.
4. In light of the recent Apple suit, revealing trade secrets is a bad idea.
5. Liability insurance may not cover bloggers.

In general, it’s always a good idea to have a publicly circulated blogging policy to define, as clearly as possible, up front, what the corporate blogger needs to know. Worst case, this same policy would be a useful thing to point to should a dispute ever arise.

The very first Mommy

A tough questions from the weekend from our little inquisiter, Tyler:

Who was the first mommy? With all the debate around intelligent design it wouldn’t be fair to just point to a picture of a monkey and leave it at that. I need to think about this, gather all sides of the debate and present them for his little sponge mind to ponder. Evolution, how it works, evidence that points to such a theory, and even a little side lecture about the scientific method.

Fresno Bee does RSS

Mark Thompson over at the Fresno Bee is turning on the paper’s online readers to the wonder and glory of RSS with a nice little how-to piece on Beehive, the site’s blog. A couple of people in the past few weeks have told me to check out what the Bee is up to and I’m glad I did. They have even made an RSS feed out of their events calendar which is very cool.