Blog #1: Blogs and Social Media in the Workplace

Blogs and other forms of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, Instagram, etc.) can be useful tools for communicating in the workplace. They provide important outlets for marketing, public health and safety campaigns, and customer support, just to name a few uses. To put it in rhetorical terms, social media connect workplace authors with existing and new audiences, to accomplish a variety of communication purposes.

Using social media appropriately can be the key to getting hired or promoted in a competitive job market. Using social media inappropriately can get you fired.

Self Snitch by Poster Boy NYC on Flickr
“Self Snitch” used courtesy of a Creative Commons Attribution license, by Poster Boy NYC on Flickr.

It’s hardly surprising, therefore, that opinions about the role of blogging in workplace communication can be diverse and sometimes contradictory. From one perspective blogs “improve communication and productivity by disseminating information among different groups of employees in a more efficient manner” (SHRM, 2012). When viewed from another angle, blogs (and other social media) encourage hacking, distort reality, violate individual rights, leak classified information, and increase physical and psychological health problems (Research Pedia). The argument continues as workplace blogs expand. As of late 2013, approximately “34% of Fortune 500 companies have corporate blogs, which is an 11 percent increase from 2011” (Dodge, 2013). Blogging affects corporate image and individual employee job security; yes, blogging can get employees fired (Guerin), including “including tenured professors, for statements they make on social media” (Shelly, 2013).

Carefully read the article, “Legal and ethical issues of the corporate blogosphere,” in which Judith A. Strother, Zohra Fazal, and Melinda Millsap (2009) explore the advantages and risks of blogs. While they seriously under report the numbers of blogs (since this is a 2009 article), they discuss the risks thoughtfully and offer valuable guidelines. However, their guidelines are directed toward corporate blogs and bloggers rather than academic bloggers who are most immediately concerned with the recent Kansas decision (Shelly, 2013). As you read (and re-read) the Strother, Fazal, and Millsap article, identify what you consider the most valuable and interesting parts, so you can quote and paraphrase. You should also locate and appropriately use (and cite) at least one additional resource not cited in this prompt, in order to extend the discussion.

Posting: Group 1

Commenting: Group 2

Category: Blogging and Social Media in the Workplace

In your Blog #1 post, take a position about workplace blogs as you consider some or all of these questions: What’s a reasonable/fair organizational policy regarding blogging in the workplace? What’s the value of blogs for employers? What cautions should be considered by employees who blog (at work and/or on their own time)? Consider also, the reflective nature of this blog, in which you are blogging about blogging. Please carefully read and follow the guidelines and posting information (links in the menu bar) for this blog.

Sources Cited

Dodge, Amanda. (2013). More than one-third of Fortune 500 companies have blogs. CopyPressed. http://www.copypress.com/blog/more-than-one-third-of-fortune-500-companies-have-blogs/

Guerin, Lisa. (n.d.). Fired for blogging: Learn whether employees can be fired for what they write in a blog, MySpace, or Facebook page. NOLO: Law for All. http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/fired-blogging-29762.html

The Research Pedia. (n.d.). Disadvantages of social media. http://www.theresearchpedia.com/research-articles/disadvantages-of-social-media

Shelly, Barbara. (2013). Social media policy from Kansas Board of Regents threatens free speech. Kansas City Star<>. http://www.kansascity.com/2013/12/26/4714148/social-media-policy-from-kansas.html

Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). (2012). Social Media: What are the advantages and disadvantages of social networking sites? What should we include in a policy? http://www.shrm.org/TemplatesTools/hrqa/Pages/socialnetworkingsitespolicy.aspx

Strother, Judith A., Zohra Fazal, and Melinda Millsap. (2009). Legal and ethical issues of the corporate blogosphere. IEEE Transactions On Professional Communication, 52(3), 243-253. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpls/icp.jsp?arnumber=5210236

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