Spelled out here in an article by Neville Hobson in today’s Web Pro News. Which points to IBMer James Snell’s blog where he has posted the IBM guidelines. He notes that IBM today posted on its intranet an exhortation to its 320,000+ employees to consider blogging. Courtesy of James, you can download the guidelines as a 6-page PDF. Download IBM’s Blogging Policy & Guidelines as a PDF. Notable highlights:

  • “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.”
  • “Don’t cite or reference clients, partners or suppliers without their approval.”
  • “If you publish a blog or post to a blog 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.'”

Makes a ton of sense to me. I’ve been advising clients exactly the same thing. An employee who has a blog independent of the company Web site should still identify himself or herself as an employee of XYZ corporation. Oh, and blogs are never “private.” Don’t kid yourself. They are always public Web pages (unless password protected or behind a firewall).

Useful Links

Article about IBM’s blogging initiative in the Silicon Valley Watcher

Sun Microsystems Policy on Public Discourse

Microsoft’s Employee Blogging Guidelines

Groove Networks’ Weblog Guidelines

Forrester’s Charlene Li on Corporate Blogging Policy

Thomas Nelson Publishers Corporate Blogging Guidelines (Draft #2)