Keeping online employees in-line!

According to the press release (11 July2006) on the American Management Association  site:

"…employers are fighting back by firing workers who violate computer privileges. Fully 26% of employers have terminated employees for e-mail misuse. Another 2% have dismissed workers for inappropriate instant messenger (IM) chat. And nearly 2% have fired workers for offensive blog content—including posts on employees’ personal home-based blogs."

"Employee bloggers mistakenly believe the First Amendment gives them the right to say whatever they want on their personal blogs. Wrong! The First Amendment only restricts government control of speech; it does not protect jobs. Bloggers who work for private employers in employment-at-will states can be fired for just about any reason—including blogging at home on their own time or at the office during work hours,” said Nancy Flynn, author of the newly released book Blog Rules (AMACOM, July 2006) and executive director of The ePolicy Institute.  In spite of the confusion, fewer than 2% of organizations have educated employee bloggers about the First Amendment and privacy rights."

"…When it comes to potential risks, unmanaged blogging dwarfs e-mail and IM.  Among the blog risks detailed in Flynn’s new book Blog Rules are copyright infringement, invasion of privacy, defamation, sexual harassment and other legal claims; trade secret theft, financial disclosures, and other security breaches; blog mob attacks and other PR nightmares; productivity drains; and mismanagement of electronic business records. "

OK – so – this captured my interest….what exactly are the Blog Rules and when do they apply??
From the link to the book on the AMA site you can access the "36 Ruless to Keep You in Business – and Out of Court – and Your Corporate Reputation Intact". Now – I’ve selected some favourites and applied the ABB hierarchy to them (Flynn’s rule numbers are shown 2nd):

ABB Rule #1 [Blog Rule #21]: Blogging culture demands absolute honesty.
ABB Rule #2 [Blog Rule #15]: Employee training is key to complaince with blog content, usage and retention policy.
ABB Rule #3 [Blog Rule #28]: Blogging can get you fired!
ABB Rule #4 [BlogRule #29]: Blogging can get you sued!
ABB Rule #5 [Blog Rule #31]: Blog posts never die – they remain archived and accessible forever.
ABB Rule #6 [Blog Rule #7]: A business blog opens the organisation up to potential disasters.
ABB Rule #7 [Blog Rule #6]: The strategic management of blogs or any other electronic business communications tool begins with the establishment of written rules and policies governing usage and content.
ABB Rule # 8 [Blog Rule #13]: Treat blog posts and comments as business records.
ABB Rule #9 [Blog Rule #11]: Require employees to sign a confidentiality agreement to protect trade secrets and confidential data belonging to the organisations, employees, customer, business partners, and other third parties.
ABB Rule #10 – Repeat Blog Rule # 15 – Employee training
ABB Rule #11 [Blog Rule #12]:
Use discipline to maximise employee compliance with blog rules, policies, and procedures.
ABB Rule #12 [Blog Rule #19]: Consider imposing a strict anti-blog policy
ABB Rule #13 [Blog Rule #25]: Incorporate the rules of blog etiquette into the organisation’s blog policy.
ABB Rule #14 [Blog Rule #22]: Assign a lawyer or other responsible party to review, edit, and – as necessary – delete readers’ comments pre-post.
ABB Rule #15 [Blog Rule #4]: It’s the casual, conversational, anything-goes nature of the blog that makes it both so appealing to blog writers and readers.
ABB Rule # 16 [no Blog Rule equivalent]: Start recruitment process to fill gaps created by above (and not mentioned) blog rules.

Now – that gives my weekend blogging and writing something to consider…. 😉

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