As blogs.sun.com turns three, I thought I’d share some of my corporate blogging experiences and lessons learned. I’ve been blogging on this site for nearly three years and have the pleasure of being the site’s engineering program manager.
One commonly asked question that is raised when discussing Sun blogs casually or in a blogging 101 session that a couple of my business partners and I offer to Sun and non-Sun groups is “Have we ever had a situation where a blogger posted something they shouldn’t have?”
The answer is not really. Of the >65 thousand Sun blog posts, I can count on one hand the times one of our self-policing bloggers have raised an eyebrow about a blog post. The benefits that come out of sharing proprietary information with our bloggers, including pre-announced information, far out-weighs the liability.
There was one situation that cropped up during my first month of program managing the site — an intern posted a detailed entry about why a certain Sun product doesn’t measure up. The Sun blogging community was quick to shine the light on both sides of the coin. Some thought the post should be deleted immediately while others thought the best thing to do was to leave it posted exactly the way it was and counter the post’s inaccuracies by posting comments as well as publically accepting the truths and talk about why they exist and what can be done to address them. As it turns out, the intern removed the post, but in the end, I think most of us agree that keeping the post in place with clarifying comments would have been the best approach.
On that note, Sun has rolled the dice in letting employees blog freely. The site’s tagline has served the company well — “This space is accessible to any Sun employee to write about anything.” If an employee wants to blog, they don’t need an executive sponsor nor do they need to ask permission or sell someone on the idea of what their blog content will be, they simply need to register and use the corporate blogging policy as their guide. I think the employee-driven approach vs the corporate-driven approach lends itself well to the spirit of the blogosphere and is likely one of the key factors behind the high-percentage of employee bloggers at Sun.
Since there isn’t a mechanism in place to fully measure the goodness that comes from corporate blogging, I’ll shine the light on some of the goodness that I’ve seen triggered by Sun blogs:
- This entry by Thin Guy helped us win a deal against a competitor
- Jonathan, our CEO, blogged about his request to the SEC to modify an SEC regulation to enable the use of the web (blogs, websites, etc.) for companies to release information to investors & the market that is required to be conveyed via a press release or conference call. The SEC Chairman posted a promising reply in the comments on Jonathan’s blog.
- One of the reasons SmugMug chose Sun was because our CEO blogs
- One of my all time favorite blog experiences is the time I, along with Jennifer and Lou, were invited to present our blogging 101 session to a few members of the United Nations as well as their Youth Delegates in preparation for the UN Youth Summit. That was an experience I will not soon forget.
- While this list is no where near complete, I can’t leave “Oreo” and “Cookies” off my list of Sun blog goodness.
- More Sun blog goodness