Faithful peruser of this nanocorner of the ‘Sphere© is aware that, contrary to the evidence of daily blogging, yr (justifiably) humble svt does earn a living, toiling away at a quite exhilarating (lately!) day job in the field of web conferencing for a large Midwestern corporation.
If I identify my employer at all, it is very circumspectly. References found at the above link refer to the “Heart of Corporate America,” or HCA. That link, by the way, is my static page (as opposed to the home page, updated with every new post, all 375 of them, and counting, thank you very much). As we produce new editions of Web Conferencing Week, we post them in both places; you might have seen this one last week.
You don’t know my employer’s identity, at least from me. They don’t know that this space exists, at least from me. That’s as it should be. I stay away from its business, while sharing with you my skewed view of the universe beyond the wrought iron fence demarcating its property, except for those technical items of interest about what I do for a living, and how I do it. Always very generic, as I feel most comfortable doing.
Please know that I do have strongly held opinions about my employer. Most of them are quite positive. None of them, in my opinion, are worth jeopardizing my job to share with you.
That brings us to this interesting incident, courtesy of one of the world’s top publications, Business Week.
Seems a lot of guys blog, known or not to their respective employers, with a business related agenda.
Read and learn:
Busting a Rogue Blogger
Troll Tracker has been unmasked as a patent lawyer for Cisco. Now they’re both facing litigation
by Michael Orey | March 27, 2008, 5:00PM EST
Of the many blogs born last May, Patent Troll Tracker seemed as innocuous as any. Its focus: the obscure but controversial subject of “patent trolls,” a derogatory term used to describe businesses that make money by purchasing patents and then suing big companies for infringement. The author was clearly no fan of the practice, but his or her identity was a mystery. The “about me” section of the blog noted that the writer was simply “a patent lawyer trying to gather and organize information about patent litigation.”
Through regular, copious posts, Troll Tracker quickly drew a devoted following in patent law circles, even among those who disagreed with its point of view. What readers didn’t know, however, was that the blogger was Rick Frenkel, in-house patent counsel at Cisco Systems (CSCO), the Internet infrastructure giant. Cisco didn’t sanction the blog, but it, like other tech firms, has waged a long, public battle against so-called patent trolls. And in its pointed commentary, Troll Tracker advanced views squarely in line with the company’s own agenda. Cisco General Counsel Mark Chandler even cited the blog as a good independent source of information while in Washington lobbying for changes to patent law that would rein in trolls, unaware he was plugging the work of a Cisco employee.
Well, for one thing, I don’t have anything to worry about; my postings are hardly as focused as Patent Troll Tracker’s. And, the opinions expressed here are hardly likely to be confused with influential ones.
The fact that a few of you keep returning so regularly (you know who you are — “what’s this oddball going to say next?” might well be your main motivation ) is simultaneously morale boosting, and humbling.
As we can see from the story at hand, business bloggers may, inadvertently or not, end up playing hardball.
Ask any 10-year-old: a hardball can hurt!
Somehow, I don’t see my employer saying what Sun Microsystems has said, as quoted in a sidebar to the BW piece:
Rules of the ‘Sphere
Some companies take baby steps into the blogosphere. Others, such as Sun Microsystems (SUNW), have plunged in. Sun’s Web site tells its 4,000-plus employees who blog: “By speaking directly to the world, without [requiring] management approval, we are accepting higher risks in the interests of higher rewards.” Some tips Sun offers: Link to lots of other sites, “Don’t tell secrets,” and saying something “sucks” is “not only risky but unsubtle.”
Or, as a recent business oriented white paper puts it: “Social Networking: Brave New World, or Revolution from Hell?”
[Please click the link below for the complete article — but then please come on back!]
So, we won’t mention lines of business, or brands, or corporate identities here, if they’re connected with the source of my remuneration.
Check with the guys at Sun if you’re interested in the possibilities.
I’m considering myself warned, and, besides, I’m having too much fun discussing and critiquing the other 99.99999999% of this planet.
It’s it for now. Thanks,