In writing a blog post this morning to synthesise my thoughts and feelings on an incredible week that saw Australia placed on a watch list of potentially repressive regimes by Reporters without borders, I debated which blog to publish it on — my work blog or this, my personal professional blog.
I started my work blog because I wanted to write about the projects in which I am involved in at work. That others I work with blog about my projects fired me up. I wanted to instigate conversations. I kept my personal blog for more nuts and bolts, off topic and opinion pieces.
But that line is starting to blur for me and is leaving me in a quandry. I won’t give up this blog or let it go dormant because I own the IP to all that I write here. That is not the case with the company blog.
I think that my company blog is higher profile because the RSS feed appears on the company web page.
Even though I get washed out of the stream fairly quickly by more prolific bloggers, I’ll bet I get traffic from that (as my stats are not hooked up on my company blog, I don’t know for sure.).
And while respected aggregators like Stephen Downes have commented on posts I’ve made on my work blog — he’s never commented on blog posts from this one.
So in the end, I thought I’d publish this morning’s post to the higher profile blog, even though I lose control of ownership on the content so that I could generate the discussion I wanted to start.
But lately I’ve been looking at how I think about social media – including blogs and twittering. I was asked to write up my thoughts on policies around it for the organisation so that everyone had guidelines. And it strikes me that how organisations vs. individuals use these tools is changing the landscape for me.
Do I need to blog as an individual in two places? I don’t think so.
I blog to have conversations and to get my thinking down somewhere where I can easily access it. I’m not chasing stats. So what if Stephen Downes only ever comments on my education.au blog posts — if I want to be noticed, I’ll get off my bum and do more to move my blog out into the world.
Should I keep my company blog to have a voice in what I’m doing for work? I’m leaning toward yes on that because I want to share the mindset and experiences behind what I do for and with my organisation. The question is –would readers want to subscribe to that?
Just as I only read blogs that inspire, amuse or educate me — would someone want to subscribe to the blog of a woman who was just talking about the work she does? I suppose if it were relevant to their interests the answer would be yes.
And what about my Twittering? I’m sometimes silly, sometimes talking about work. Should I keep my personal Twitter account for silliness and have another or create a joint company Twitter account to advise of outages, answer client tech questions and promote events? I’m starting to think yes.
While I don’t openly complain about my place of work on my Twitter account — I express opinions that aren’t in line with the company’s stakeholders’ trains of thought. So by using Twitter to communicate about work issues — am I now a representative of the company on Twitter? It’s hard to write a disclaimer AND express an opinion in 140 characters or less.
And what about my video sharing accounts? Long ago I realised that I can’t post videos with company logos on them to the same site I post machinima with dance music tracks and videos of my cat. So I set up company accounts for that.
Slide sharing? My SlideShare account is about my presentations — no cat content or dance music there, so that was easy.
LinkedIn is about me as a professional so that was easy.
GMail is also all about me.
But when I comment on blogs – what signature do I use and when?
Do I use my “official” signature with my company name and title and contact details? Sometimes I do. Especially when commenting on the company dollar. For more radical sites and opinion pieces, I use my personal signature. But I’m always KerryJ — so does it matter WHICH signature I use? Or do I have an over-inflated sense of my own importance?
Hmmm. The more I look into a an online communications plan for our organisation, the more I realise I need to write one for myself.
How do you handle yourselves? Do you draw an online divide between your professional self and your private self? Do people who whinge about work on their personal accounts deserve to be fired if they are easily traced back to their place of work? Should people using professional accounts use the 2-drink rule after hours?