New York Times on employer weblog intervention

Tom Zeller Jr. of the The New York Times wrote an article published in Monday’s business section on employer intervention over employee weblogs. I am featured in the article. I will pick up a hard copy of the paper in the morning.

I first want to give Gordon Mohr credit for the poster pictured in the article. I hope he was contacted about the use of his work.

Mr. Kennedy’s employer, having received some complaints about the artwork, stepped in and asked him to reconsider the posting and Mr. Kennedy complied, taking the image down.

Partially true. David Sifry, founder and CEO of Technorati, received some complaints about allowing his employee to create this type of work. One particular CEO was particularly upset over the use of one of his product’s logo in the poster. He communicated his dissatisfaction to Dave, Dave told me, I took down the image. I purposely omit this executive’s name from my weblog; I’ve never met the guy.

The article does a good job covering different aspects of the divide between employers and their employees over weblogs. I am glad to see the voice of a law expert and the voice of a personal freedoms expert included in the piece.

When I first loaded the page there was a New York Times archive image of Cesar Chavez beneath my photograph.


Commentary on "New York Times on employer weblog intervention":

  1. Richard Silverstein on wrote:

    While I understand your impulse to want to cooperate with your CEO’s perceived wishes (which it doesn’t seem like he explicitly expressed to you) regarding the post in question–I think you’re being WAY TOO accomodating.

    I’m sure Technorati is a good company to work for & that David Sifry is prob. a great guy. We’ve exchanged a short e mail or 2 & he seemed helpful. But it’s none of yr. employer’s damn business what you do with your blog. Technorati of all people should understand that. If the bastion of the blogging world muzzles its employees then what should we expect from all the rest of those drecky corporations out there regarding their blogging employees?? Not much, I’ll tell you.

    What I think you should’ve done is to challenge Sifry to a company wide discussion or even all day seminar discussing all sorts of issue related to employer-employee relations including privacy, off duty activities, etc. I find the Technorati official quoted at the end of the article to be completely disingenuous by saying that the company wouldn’t ever want to tell Niall what he should do in his blog. Gosh, I think that’s what it did to you, didn’t it?? Sure you might say no one told you what to do & clear them of blame. But if your CEO gets a call from their CEO complaining like hell to him, don’t you think it’s gonna make the poor employee cower in the corner a bit in fear of the resulting clash of thunderbolts?! I should say so.

    I urge you to give this some thought. Next time, don’t make it so easy for them. They should be challenged to think about their actions as they relate to you & other blogging employees. Corporate policy should not be made based on angry phone calls. It should be made after serious deliberations about the issues & codifying the policy in writing.

  2. Bobak on wrote:

    Although I know it was a recreation in the NYT, I loved the basic poster design and idea. Very witty. It’s right up there with the Modern Humorist’s classic remake of a Red Scare poster announcing “if you download mp3s you’re downloading communism.”

    Best of luck in your life,