Blogger Forces Company Blogging Policy Issue

Update: 9 Mar 2005 9:04 am

…we do not censor people’s blogs, and we take the censorship allegation extremely seriously. I actively encourage our employees to blog, and to express their opinions. However, many readers do not make as clear a distinction between personal and work lives as many experienced bloggers do, and will view a provocative image on a blog in the worst possible light…

Everyone, send good vibes Dave Sifry’s (Technorati CEO) way.

Niall, perhaps this would be helpful to remember in your position as Technorati Community Manager:

“Provocation and controversy are good for building hype, bad for building community”
“Being provocative or negative is one way to generate traffic, but it doesn’t generate culture.”

I’m googling for the author of this quote, if you know please drop it in the comments. I think it was said in the context of podcasting. Thanks.
Found it, 15 Mar 2005 11:30 pm, credit for this quote goes to Mark Vandewettering via Dan Lyke of Flutterby (see the comments. Thanks Dan!)

Update: 8 Mar 2005, 11:30 am

Jason Kottke is a smart person. He changed the title of his original post because as more information came out, Technorati was not at fault. I agree and have followed suit.

Frankly, I find the entire situation artificial and awkward. As it turns out, Kennedy set himself up. I saw nothing wrong with his original post. Poor taste or otherwise. He then went around and basically asked his employer to find fault with it. Quid pro quo, he proved his own point – when given the chance, employers are happy to say no. Blah and now I’m out of coffee.

Original Post

The last couple days, I was thinking about exploring integrating Technorati’s Tags into WordPress. Then I read Technorati censoring employee blogs? over at Kottke.org.

I concur with Jason, if I ran a company that aggregated weblogs, the last thing I would do is piss off webloggers.

The post in question was on Niall Kennedy’s personal site. Niall was comparing employer’s desire to restrict employees blogging to wartime propaganda.

Last night I modified a few propaganda posters from the 1940s to express how corporations would like to control what their employees say on a weblog, at a bar, or even to their families.

Cue Technorati being, um, ironic (Employer commands employee to pull down blog post commenting on employers restricting employees weblog posting). It’s funny, cause it’s true:

No, this post was not a joke and it was a post meant to generate buzz about a topic. Technorati executives are concerned about how employee weblogs expressing opinions may be interpreted as an official Technorati position. All Technorati employees have been asked to review weblog posts with staff members before posting. I reinstated my original post this morning and I am ready to willing to hear the community’s response to my individual voice.

Will opinions expressed on employee weblogs be considered official company positions?
Unless the weblog is http://Technorati.com/OfficialTechnoratiWeblog and has a big Technorati logo on it, NO!

Just 2 days earlier, Steve Gillmor commented on the Google’s new Autolink “feature” and offered this advice:

Who cares if you can do it because. Forget the stuff about do no evil. Do no stupid.

Technorati Bloggers and companies should follow the same advice. or I say we stop pinging them. I’m holding off digging into their tagging until they do.