Monday, January 10, 2005

Bloggers' rights

One of the issues in the borderland between private and public which blogs inhabit, is how employers handle bloggers who write about their jobs. Some have been fired for blogging, some for spreading information which should not really be made public, some for other reasons not necessarily associated with blogging, but who happened to be bloggers. Some of these have made a Bloggers' bill of rights, and have put up a list of "blogophobic" companies.

I don't know how legitimate the different claims are. The blog does not post much research into the individual cases of "blogophobia", but the phenomenon is interesting. The "bloggers' right" blog is an attempt to use a blog as a weapon to force the companies in question to treat bloggers differently. And it may work, because blogs are powerful - which is, of course, why companies are so sensitive to what people blog about them. Some of this worry is justified, as not every individual blogger is perfectly discreet and keep their different roles straight. It's a learning project, we are all learning how to interact online, how to use the new media and developing manners and norms for civilized online behaviour. And angry bloggers testing out their strength versus the companies that fire bloggers is part of this development.

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