Mario Sundar

LinkedIn's 2nd PR hire. These are my thoughts on products, public relations, and startups.

Employee blogs are owned by “employees”!

Do we have an answer on ownership of employee blogs? I actually think we may have a resolution on the controversial subject. For those of you following with interest the recent thread I started on the ownership of employee blog once they leave the company, there’s some news for you.

I received a response both from Adam Clyde, one of the creators of IBM’s Social Computing Guidelines (not sure if this is his LinkedIn profile) and Gia Lyons (LinkedIn Profile), formerly Social Software Evangelist at IBM and owner of the blog in question.

Here’s what transpired. Quoting their comments they left on this blog.

Adam Clyde (IBM):

Hi Mario, from what I can tell (I haven’t heard from Gia personally yet, though hope to shortly), this was likely the case of a well-meaning, though clearly misguided, individual at IBM…

I helped guide the process by which the community created the Social Computing Guidelines. The concept of blog ownership isn’t explicitly defined, but I think the common knowledge is that blogs created on IBM hosted environments stay with the company if the person leaves. But if the blog is on their own environment, that’s their’s and stays with the person.

What’s not clear to me is whether this referred to Gia’s internal or external blog. Her internal blog still sits live (though inactive) with all the content within IBM’s firewall. And will stay that way – attributed to her. Her external blog, which was only live for a few months before she left, is hers and stays that way.

Gia Lyons:

Hi Mario! I just wanted to point out that nobody at IBM actually took over my internal IBM blog, and it won’t happen. But, just the idea that someone suggested it was enough to get me, erm, excited. )

That said, that internal blog site and content are legally wholly owned by IBM, and they can do whatever they want with it. Ultimately, though, the internal IBM blogging community – the people themselves, and not any single individual – own it. And knowing those people, I completely trust them to do whatever should be done to further the good of their community.

I guess that’s my answer to “Who owns an employee blog?” … “The employee*s* who remain.”

And, Adam totally concurred with the idea that “The employee*s* who remain.” own the blog. Here’s Gia’s original post and here’s my early take on the topic. Thanks to Adam and Gia for their quick response.

Sounds fair. Don’t you think so?

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Filed under: Business Blogging, Employee Engagement

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