Category Archives: Blogging and Social Media in the Workplace

The Pressures of the Current Workplace

If we take a look back ten years, even twenty years, into the past, we will see that the aspects that helped the workplace thrive are much different than now.  Ten to twenty years ago, online recruitment and promotion was unheard of.  Connections were made through face to face communication and word of mouth networking.  People would physically work hard to promote their specific product or to arrange meetings that would help their credibility and job standing.  Personal identity and professional identity were not nearly linked as closely as they are now.

These times were tough and the actions people took were commendable.  But times are changing and the workplace is rapidly becoming more technology based.  Audiences are more vast and diverse than ever. The link between your personal and professional identity is so close now that people often feel pressured to make sure their personal lives do not hurt his/her professional reputation.


Social media is one main factor contributing to the pressure of conforming to normative standards in the professional setting.  Self presentation has, and always will be, an important aspect of earning a positive professional reputation.  However, in our modern society, with such social media as Facebook and Instagram, individuals are now pressured to keep their personal lives at bay.  Many companies are able to view potential candidates before they even reach the interview and judged solely on what appears on these social media sites.  In my opinion, this is absolutely unfair but something that should be accepted and respected until the times catch up with technology.  Enjoy your life but do not post everything online.  Keep things to yourself.

Moving past the social media outlets, self presentation will surely help your case should you pass the social media test.  Keep yourself up to date with the normative standards of the career you plan to pursue and abide by them.  Keep yourself cleanly shaved and dress appropriately.  However, although influential, even this does not determine whether you fail or succeed at your career.  Understanding the current technologies will determine how well you succeed. No matter the type of person you are, if you are more than capable of completing the desired tasks, you will likely have a job.  For example, it is likely that a job promoting a product through social media will go to a young college graduate as opposed to an older gentlemen or lady with years of experience.  This is only because younger college students are more familiar with the current technologies.  This is not to say that older folks are at a disadvantage, they just need to make sure they are keeping up with the times.

Overall, it is important to maintain a respectable personal identity if you wish to share so much online in order to maintain a credible professional identity.  This will be the case until the times catch up with technology.  Self presentation or “branding” will always be critical in assisting your overall identity.  With the vast and diverse audience, presenting yourself in the right way will not only maintain your professional identity but also entice others to follow your ways.   fabonetworking

Blog Project: Literacy

Literacy is one of the oldest hallmarks of civilization itself. The expansion of literacy rates in the United States is a severe problem confronting both our education systems and our work force structure and it will only prove to be of more critical importance the more different forms of communication come into use. Huffington Post reports sobering stats to the effect that literacy rates over all in the U.S have not budged significantly in over a decade. Partially it is to do with education being unequal over the socio-economic boundaries, but also because of an influx of immigrated workers and their descendants would will prove to be the backbone of much of the work force following baby-boomer retirement. As an English major, I feel literacy is of inexpressible importance in order to function in society.

Back in the days of large family farms and apprenticeships, literacy could be done without. As the economic opportunity expanded into machinery and later still into computers it has become no longer possible to live a decent life with knowing little more than how to read and write your name and a few other things. We are no longer framed in an economic structure that would be able to support vast numbers of workers who are illiterate in capacity because it matters as far as getting ahead is concerned. Especially, coming out of this “Great Recession” things will only get worse if something is not done to boost our education. Overall the vast majority of “middle jobs” have been phased out, rendered obsolete by technology or overseas cost. Gone are the days where an A.A would get you a 30-ish thousand dollar steady employment or a B.A would be considered sufficient education for most jobs.  We live in a society at this point where a good chunk of workers are over qualified for the jobs they have because the higher levels are not open to them for various reasons. If these people remain in these positons, there are even fewer options for those who are illiterate to go to where they can still get by which means, at least for some, and perhaps even a majority, the next stop is the welfare system where the economy will only slow further.

Basic word and print literacy is of primary of course because it is so basic and will likely not go anywhere; However, there are now expanded definitions of literacy because is not literacy an expansion of competency? Computers will also grow increasingly important as time goes on. Knowing how to use them is not the advantage it was back in the 80’s, it is expected. I think it is reasonably safe to say that there are several forms of literacy that school systems and immigration programs alike must strive to teach fluency in beyond computers and print; I wish I could think of another good example but to be honest such literacy might just be so common place to myself, I don’t even realize that I use it. (That mentality in itself being a bit of a problem since I would think a majority have no idea how bad our literacy rates really are and thus don’t know there is a problem to begin with.)

Another blog also pointed out that the lack of a standard definition is one of the many problems surrounding this issue, if not the main one. I agree with this and feel that giving out basic standards for what literacy is, is an extremely important step in trying to rectify the problem. Yes, picture graphs and similar info graphs will suffice for many situations to a certain extent, but it does not and will never match the amount of information that can be conveyed by words themselves.


Blog Project 3: Traditional vs. Non-Traditional

To be blunt, I do not see the traditional resume disappearing anytime soon due to several circumstances. A non-traditional resume may look and/or sound interesting and may be useful in “standing out” in certain job markets where the utmost creativity is necessary, but as far as the vast majority goes it is a distraction and a waste of effort. For one thing, the resume itself in many areas of the market is disappearing as a stand-alone document; many more common jobs are offered on behalf of large organizations and many ask that the hopeful apply online and simply regurgitate what would be on a traditional resume onto their own company specific application. The resume itself, while it can in many circumstances be attached, is not necessarily necessary and is essentially redundant.

As noted in a 2011 article, from the send button ones application goes through an ATS program that automatically filters out keywords and phrases specific to what the company is looking for and, much like a Google search, will offer up the highest percentage matches. Having a more colorful or creatively structured resume many interfere with a programs ability to find these markers and thus disqualify you from a search long before an actual human being can appreciate your rainbow-colored header. Another mark against the non-traditional resume is its very variability. It is too easy to do a creative resume wrong because there are fewer standards of use available. Even if you are not submitting a creative resume until an actual interview, many options that may at first appear “cute” or “interesting” may not be taken that way by a potential employer and simply do not come out as seeming professional. Unlike its more non-descript cousin, what is a welcome use of style or color to one resume pile might not be welcome in another. Unless it is for a job along the lines of Google, graphic designing or perhaps going into business for yourself, the time and effort that goes into creating a creative resume for one job, might have to be completely redone to apply somewhere else, simply put: the more creative one gets, to a certain extent, the less one size fits all.

Of course the exception to the latter statement would most obviously be professional profiles such as Linked-In or Facebook, which I do feel have some universal usability. But these are not resumes any more than resumes are Linked-In profiles, they are two distinct relays of information. Profiles are more personable introductions while still containing relevant information. These kinds of works are worth splurging a bit with creativity because they almost have to be viewed by a human being where the creative effort can be appreciated.

I’ve made no secret about my distaste for many creative resume formats in this post. To be even more honest, when it comes to my professional experience there is not much to separate me from any crowd. Because most of my jobs have been pretty run-of-the-mill, if I had to create a more artful version of my resume I would probably go with either an infographic format or a captioned slideshow ( because they are simple, easy to format and linear making them less distracting to follow.


Project 1 The World of Blogging: The Wealth and the Price

There is no more versatile a creation then that of the internet, with the exception of humanity itself. Over the past 40 years or so it has crossed boundaries and sparked movements and passed information faster than any other means before it. Blogging is one of the many forms of communication employed through the internet and, for the corporate world in particular, is well known to offer a multitude of advantages with little of the effort and expense found in “conventional” means. Yet there is a large debate, particularly between the corporate sector and the relations it holds with the general public at large about whether or not such advantages are in fact worth the risk of downfall that can also be part and parcel of the blogging experience.

First and foremost, blogging brings people together; large or small, be it about books, games, sports or the latest phone release, blogging enables a large segment of similarly interested people to communicate on both broad and specialized topics. From a cooperate stand point, this allows them to both introduce their products and to build an image overall that works better “than a billion dollar ad campaign could have”  to maintain a more personable presence among their target audience as opposed to a less interactive means such as flyers. (Strother)  “Foot-traffic” and word-of-mouth tends to do the rest, reducing time and effort on part of the company and potentially giving them footholds in market areas they might not have reached otherwise. It also allows them feedback on demos and prototypes to better ensure the quality of final products and to address concerns more quickly and broadly than with the limitations posed by mass emails. These same advantages of fluidity and encompassment are not just limited to the PR sector of a company: they can provide the same benefits to the internal structure of a company as well. “Blogs can transform a static, one-way, top-down intranet into a dynamic, interactive collaboration tool that can be felt directly on the company’s bottom line.” (Strother)

Since blogs have become such an integral part of many business’ strategies for attracting revenue, there can be grave consequences to the misuse of a blogs intentions. That same blog which presents a favorable public image can just as easily turn the public against itself with the wrong post. Problems can arise from “bashing” on a competitor to the point of libel, there can be misinterpretations of posts by readers leading to unfavorable rumors. There can also be problems between the company and either former or current employees. When disputes of internal nature become public to one extent or another a company must capitulate to general demand, sometimes in unfavorable ways and to the loss of its credibility. Walmart presents a good overall example with its “Walmart-ting Across America Blog” that attempted to shore up a positive image for the chain in light of poor public opinions regarding its employee treatment policies. So many favorable posts aroused suspicion and led to the discovery of Walmart paying off people to boost their popularity, instead having quite the opposite effect to the point of ridicule. (Kaye) Where information is traded out so publically, it is also very easy for companies to have sensitive information “leaked” to the detriment of profit or reputation.

Despite these many disadvantages, blogging remains one of the first and foremost go-to for the dissemination of information. It can perhaps be argued that all of blogging’s equally many advantages are in fact a by-product of two characteristics that set it apart from all the other means of internet communication: its versatility in any situation and its ability to be the closest means of its kind to mimic group conversation, as opposed to a single chat window or even email. In many ways it is comparable to oral vs. the written language. Both speak broadly and can be used and adapted to many conditions as needed; but the written words is both more accountable for its intent and is able to cross boundaries of space, time and other languages with fewer problems. Overall, the advantage where blogging is concerned over other forms of digitalized communication is slight, but still present and even formidable under some circumstances, outweighing most if not all of its pitfalls.



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.

Kaye, Kate. 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.


Blog Post #1: Social Media: Outdated or Is this only the starting point?


Social Media: Outdated or is this only the starting point?

Undeniably, our society has always set a trend to moving forward. Within the past two decades, the era of technology has been rising faster than anything we have ever witnessed. Social media has lead the way of communication through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google plus, and Linked-in. These sites were very restrictive.  They were used only by closed groups.  Every member had to receive an invitation from previously engaged members, or became a member by belonging to an institution like a school or workplace.  While these sites used to remain within our personal private lives at first, later on they appear to be making a stride in the workplace environment. Now the question remains: Do the benefits outweigh the risk?

The advocates for social media believe that we are able to reach out to more people.  Thus we are influencing people with our point of view.  It is true that using these sites; we are able to interact with far more people without borders.  Another advantage of using social media is that companies can reach large parties without the expenses to reach out to people.  It leads coworkers to connect more and work like a real team. Additionally, social media is also widely used for humanitarian, social causes, and as awareness tool.  In this capacity, the community will become aware of the company’s involvement in their lives.  Moreover, social media is widely used by businesses to advertise their services, and products to a targeted audience.  This is making the work of public relations way easier and cheaper.   The companies would be able to target the following demographics: gender, race, income, geographic location, crime and more.

In the workplace social media can also be challenging at times. Besides being used for the benefits of the corporation, social media also comes with some very negative impacts.  Too many employees accessing those social media sites at once will surely jam the network.  Further, jamming the network come with a total loss of productivity.  While the employees are on the payroll, they end up not working as expected.  This is one of the major issues accompanying social media in the work place: Distraction.  Another major issue is some program associated with some social networks might be hacking.  These forms of hacking may also cause breach of security. The easiest port of entry could be social media.  The same way social media help the relationship in the workplace, it also has the potential to hurt coworkers’ relations as well. All in all, it may come down to managing the company reputation and image. A classic case is the release of confidential information by accident causing the loss of value of the shareholder’s stocks. It is the responsibility of everyone to be responsible.  This is the reason why companies agreeing to the use of social media also have a social media policy to protect the image and reputation of their institutions.

With a newly found understanding of the negatives of social media in the workplace I can now look as to why I think it proves to be more beneficial to be connected on social servers at work. According to Andrew Keen from CNN, in a recent study at the University of Melbourne, it was proven that social media at work allows people to be more productive as it also opens up the intellectual capacity. It brings the possibility to group solve problems as a team and allows people to be more elaborate and “gives us an ESP-like sense of what other people are thinking”. (ESP is much like a sixth sense or being able to pick up what people around you wants). One of the articles mentioned below (More than One-Third of Fortune 500 Companies Have Blogs) has shed a light on the statistics of blogs and social media in the workplace, for example forty percent of the “Fortune 500 Companies” that use social media are in the top 200, seventy-seven percent of these 500 companies use twitter and seventy percent use Facebook. If you ask me it has become undoubtedly shown that social media has a key part in helping workers to expand beyond certain limits and connect with their peers in a more comfortable environment. With all new ideas exist small potential flaws but given time employees will learn the right way to take on this new task. This will allow us to continue moving into the digital age.

Sources cited:

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.

Dodge, Amanda. (2013). More than one-third of Fortune 500 companies have blogs. CopyPressed.

Keen, Andrew. (2012). 5 reasons not to ban social media in the office.

Blog Post #1: The Trade-Off of Sociability

Focusing on workplace blogs as a medium for employers and employees, as opposed to a social networking tool to open up and expand a dialogue between the company and the public, I disagree with “Dingra, the creator of WATConsult” who “[was convinced that blogs will be a standard corporate communication tool just like a website and email address” (Strother, Judith A., Zohra Fazal, and Melinda Millsap, 2009). Blogs will continue, for the time being, to remain secondary to forms of communication that allow the initiator to reach the recipient when necessary, to choose the specific parties to be engaged, and to do so quickly, such as through emails, phone, and face to face conversation. Intra-company blogs will not become a forum for employees to speak freely, if in an unprofessional manner, to vent their frustrations or blatant tell their superiors what they are doing wrong, like the general public has the tendency to do. A blog run by the corporation for intra-corporation use will act more like a bulletin board compared to the freedom consumers or the public has on an external blogs (Strother, Judith A., Zohra Fazal, and Melinda Millsap, 2009).

Blogs may serve as a forum to discuss possible changes, possible project to begin, or to disseminate information amongst a large group of employees, but unless each department or singular focus group has their own personal blog on which to add, exchange, and comment upon ideas freely, a corporate blog will not be as effective and efficient as forms of communication already in practice. Intra-companies’ blogs take too long to update as opposed to a quick text, email, or memo. Blogs are too public, the interactivity works against personal messages ( not those that should belong in an instant messaging session, but perhaps a directive given to an employee that is too be kept separate from the group until a certain level of completion). The company has more control over an internal blog than they would with an external one, but the control would continue to occur retrospectively should, as ABLOUNT4 pointed out (BLOG POST #1: WORKPLACE SOCIAL MEDIA AND BLOGGING ARE BENEFICIAL IN 2014), an employee speak ill of the company or another worker. This employee would suffer the consequences but not until it was pointed out to an administrator, perhaps after influencing others, something that may not happen when responding to email that are sent and viewed directly and immediately by coworkers and bosses

A blog is a form of social networking that encourages the participants to get involved by reading content relevant or necessary to them, commenting upon it, and sharing it. Blogs used internally will boost moral by providing more avenues for the employees to become involved in the company socially, superiors can received input from employees, and information, such as a the time and location of a company picnic can be viewed by everyone. However, blogs are less functional as way to disseminate information because those who use blogs the most expect to reap these social benefits, not to gain or add actual information. Blogs are also limited in their effectiveness by the number of employees who actively read, comment, and post useful entries.


Jackson, A; Yates, J.; Orlikowski, W., “Corporate Blogging: Building community through persistent digital talk,” System Sciences, 2007. HICSS 2007. 40th Annual Hawaii International Conference on , vol., no., pp.80,80, Jan. 2007

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


Blog Post #1: Great Publicity or Foul

Corporate blogging offers  exceptional and cost efficient advertisement.  Corporations have discovered that through the use of blogging they can not only become more familiar with the consumers but also create “two-way communication with their stakeholders (Strother 243).” This use of social media allows the corporations to appear caring, humane, and trusting.

However, though there is a great deal of evidence leading to the conclusion that bogging has become a godsend to battle the harsh, detached, and often destructive beast that is Corporate America, the blog does pose a threat to business. Michelle Evans, Journal of Legal Studies Education, inquires in to the risks associated with corporate blogging and the potential for legal issues and overall monetary loss. She states concern that corporate instituted regulations on blogging may deter damaging use of social media by employees, but could be ineffective.  (Evans 25).  I ask the question: does the benefits of blogging outweigh the potential havoc?

It is apparent the corporate leaders are torn with the question. IBM created “Blog Central” as a internal base for employee morale boosting (Strother 244). For the purpose of internal use, I find the risk of corporate harm to be minimal. However, the use of social media for external communication offers a wide variety of risk and benefits. The benefits being advertisement and publicity, study of public opinion, and a simple way for potential customers to find helpful information (Strother 244). The benefits, at this point, seem to outweigh the risks significantly.

Though the benefits are clear and attractive through the perspective of money generating, the risks hold a great deal of threat to the corporation. Corporate secrets, movements, and developments can, and have been, prematurely offered to the public through the anonymous forum of social media– namely bogging. Apple suffered a great deal when a blogger outed the release of the Asteroid (Strother 246). Such corporate leaks can cause damage to the corporation. Stock can decrease, flux in public opinion, false information can be introduced.

Granted, not much can be done for non-employee blogging; however, it seems that a great deal of negative results from bogging have originated with employees or non-employees posting to the corporate blog. One could make the argument that regulations and guidelines should be created and enforced in relation to blogging. Both Strother and Evans offer a sample of regulation or guidelines. However, it is evident that the court system overwhelmingly rules in favor of freedom of speech over corporate interest in the matter of social media and corporate collaboration.

From the readings and evidence, I have difficulty conceding to the idea that corporate blogging offers more benefits and risks. Perhaps with functioning and legally enforceable regulation, the benefits would outweigh the risk. I pose this question: Can any regulation be realistically implemented that would serve to protect the interest of the corporation while not infringing on the constitutional rights of the people (consumer and employee) ?





Evans, Michelle. Journal of Legal Studies Education. Mar2012, Vol. 29 Issue 1, p1-25. 25ps

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

Blog Post #1: Right or Wrong for Social Media use in the Corporate World

We have all heard, seen, or use it. Facebook, Twitter, Linkedln, Instagram, Google, YouTube, WordPress,, and MySpace are a few of among many social media sites named. The question is…is it fair game for employers to access employee’s blogs or social media sites? Is it fair game for employee’s to post about whatever is on their mind in the current workplace? 

The answers to the questions above are still in debate. Some employers use blogs and/or social media sites to help incorporate their business or company. Like for say… Fortune 500 companies. Do consumers rely heavier on what Fortune 500 companies have to post via blogs or social media? Yes, we do from a consumer standpoint. Given the facts, according to Amanda Dodge, about 34% of Fortune 500 companies have corporate blogs. For social media, ” 77% of companies use Twitter, 70% use Facebook, and 69% use YouTube” (Dodge 2013). It gives a chance towards consumers to see what the current status of some companies are up to, plus new products being produced. It also gives a chance for employee’s to test what they cannot or can say in blogs or social media site. For example, “you can’t rely on the first amendment” (Guerin 2014). Many employee’s are mistaken by first amendment rights, according to Lisa Guerin. We, employees, believe that the first amendment protects our free speech. However, it protects our free speech from the government not private employers (Guerin 2014). Therefore, employees are misguided in information and blog postings when it comes to employers. In addition, there are ways on the do’s and dont’s of corporate blogging and social media. Let’s go back to the basic facts:

  • Do not harass or criticize your coworkers (though it may be amusing to other peers, it will not be so amusing to the employer reading).
  • Do not post anything racist or sexist (the same thought applies from above).
  • Never reveal companies trade secrets, a huge NO NO.
  • Do not vent in blogs about workplace problems unless you solve them out directly with that coworker first.
  • Blog anonymously or restrict user visibility.
  • All points cited by Guerin 2014. 

Getting the picture?? On the other hand, Dan Pontefract points out interesting details on how social media is moving backwards in the workplace. He converses about how companies are more involved with the digital age, in which he also discusses about how companies are limiting the use of personal accounts of employees. “In nearly all the jurisdictions, an employer is permitted to prohibit the use of social media sites during work, both on equipment provided by the employer and on the employee’s own devices” (Pontefract 2014). So, what does this mean exactly? Lets break it down…

  • Your own device can be blocked from certain social sites like Facebook or Twitter.
  • Employer does not a right to access what shows on your monitor, but has right to block it.
  • If connected to company wifi, than employer has right to block certain sites.
  • All points cited by Pontefract 2014.

It gives a whole new meaning to the social media and blogging work status for employers and employees alike in 2014. So, going back to the questions in the beginning…do employers or employees have a right? The answer is yes and no. Yes, to employers limiting our social media and yes, to employers deciding on what an employee should post or not. No, to employees posting whatever they want and make it seem right in the work place and no, to employees speaking their minds when it comes in terms to social media and blogging. In conclusion, employers and employees must watch (and monitor) social media sites. Either way, we could all be at fault on the web.

Sources cited:

Dodge, Amanda. (2013). More than one-third of Fortune 500 companies have blogs. CopyPressed.

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.

Pontefract, Dan. (2014). Social Media in the Workplace is Going Backwards. Huff Post Business.

Corporate Blogs: More Reward Than Risk

With the rise of technology in the past several decades, businesses and universities have been faced with a new challenge: distinguishing themselves in an age of rapid globalization. With an increased consumer market comes an increased competition for business.  Therefore, a blog is a valuable resource for distinguishing a business or university against the competition because it can make the represented agency accessible and human.


Regardless of their physical location, any one with internet access can read a blog, no matter where the blogger posts from, or lives.  When the blog represents a particular business or university, these corporations suddenly become more accessible to a larger audience, as “Google ranks blogs higher in its search results than static pages[.]“ Due to their dynamic nature, “[A] blog can increase a company’s visibility and its brand recognition.  Through the blog posts, a company can also connect with its customers and suppliers to share information about products and offerings, generating leads for future business” (Nordmeyer).


More than just a method for increasing revenue, blogs are a way for multinational corporations to facilitate the dissemination of information to a wider audience without fear of language barriers or cost constraints.  Many companies “[H]ave expanded their corporate blogs to other locations and made them available in other languages” (Strother, Zohra, and Millsap).  Previously restricted by and/or faced with the expenses of physically printing numerous translations of singular content, the virtual nature of blogs allows a company to share their knowledge, research, and observations in a potentially limitless array of languages at a much lower cost.


But the value of corporate blogs does not exist solely in their accessibility.  They are also a simple and effective system of humanizing an otherwise inhumane entity, of giving a voice to the company they represent, and of encouraging “[V]aluable feedback from their customers” (Strother, Zohra, and Millsap).


Take, for example, two of the Kodak blogs discussed in the Strother, Zohra, and Millsap article.  One blog “Allows Kodak to share stories about the power of imaging and invites the audience to do the same,” while the other “[F]ocuses on sharing expertise about ‘digital imaging’s technologies and its power to influence our world’” (Strother, Zohra, and Millsap).  They provide their consumers with an outlet to share and discuss their positive Kodak experiences, and a forum for the Kodak company itself to share anecdotes of their helpful and informative contributions to society.  These blogs—and forums—in turn, transform an unfathomably large, capitalist business into a nurturing community, populated with concerned, compassionate individuals who want nothing more than to hear the stories of their consumers.


Some might argue that blogs are detrimental, rather than beneficial, to corporations.  And while it is true that “Aside from potentially revealing trade secrets and confidential corporate information, bloggers could expose the corporation to suits for defamation or for infringement of intellectual property rights,” the rewards greatly outweigh the risks (Strother, Zohra, and Millsap).  The potential hazard of leaked information or lawsuits can easily be avoided with proper rules, regulations, and overviews, and should not deter corporations from starting a blog.  These hazards should be negated by the opportunity to foster a meaningful relationship with consumers, to educate a larger audience, and to present the corporation with a distinct edge over the competition.



Nordmeyer, Billie. The Advantages of Blogs in the Workplace. The Nest. Web. 28 August 2014.


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.


Blog Post #1: What We Lose When Corporations Control Social Media

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image courtesy of

One thing that many people often overlook when encountering a corporation on social media is that there is a single human being attached to the tweet, update, or blog that they are reading. This link shows what can happen when someone in charge of a corporate social media outlet goes too far, or posts content that is too personal. The problem, from a corporate standpoint, is how to generate content on social media that manages to attract new customers without offending their existing customer base. In other words, what corporations seek to achieve is a social media presence that almost perfectly mimics the social media presence of an individual yet inherently lacks the actual freedom of speech held by individuals.

The responsibility, of course, lies with the content creators.  A single lapse of judgement can easily lead to being fired if one is in charge of a corporate social media outlet today. One must never forget who they are representing when posting online.

Below is a tweet earlier this week in reference to a popular true crime podcast called Serial.

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image courtesy of

Within minutes of this tweet, many thousands of users on twitter attacked Best Buy for what many considered to be a crass exploitation of a tragic situation (the murder of a young woman in Baltimore in 1999). They then deleted the tweet and offered the below pictured apology.

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image courtesy of

Did Best Buy go too far? On one hand, they did indeed make a joke about a tragic situation, but what many people failed to take into account is the fact that the Serial podcast, which has been downloaded by over 5 million people, is in and of itself, a form of entertainment. Furthermore, the huge amount of attention the podcast has received has pushed the entire case into the realm of popular culture. This is an important distinction to make because the question now becomes, did Best Buy make a joke about a tragedy in order to sell products, or did they make a joke about a pop culture phenomenon?  I think the person behind the Best Buy social media ultimately helped Best Buy’s reputation. The apology leaves Best Buy in a position they can defend, yet the controversy created only enhanced their brand presence overall.

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Image courtesy of

The benefits of corporate blogging definitely outweigh the risks, but only for the corporation. For the individual employee, the opposite is true. While they may be fairly financially compensated for their work, there is always the risk that something they post will either offend the company’s customer base, or the company itself. While it is unclear from the Best Buy example above, it is almost certain that the employee who wrote the offending tweet will be punished while the company is almost certain to prosper.

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Image courtesy of

Another important issue is whether or not employers should be able to access and make decisions based upon an employees social media presence.  The answer really depends upon the individual. The web offers plenty of advice on how to navigate this terrain, yet the answers seem unsettling. Advice such as “remove every potentially-inappropriate post/picture” and to “keep language and grammar in mind,”(Driscoll) seems to be at odds with an individual’s right to freely and openly communicate.  While self-censorship is an important and integral part of interacting with society, it can be taken too far.  At a certain point, an individual loses their individuality if they are more concerned with continued employment than speaking their mind.  “A public profile is a vehicle for casually interacting with others in an informal setting, on personal free time. When companies use these profiles to find not only a professional but also an ideological match for a job, they’re misleading themselves and building ill will with talented prospective employees, who might decline to apply for a job for fear a comment about China on their blogs makes them persona non grata”(Fish).  While keeping individual social media outlets private seems like good, practical advice, it kind of defeats the purpose of “social” media. Allowing employers to dictate what you do and don’t post online allows them to, in effect, shape the internet itself. Is this something that we want to happen?

Sources Cited:

Driscoll, Emily. “What Your Social Media Reputation Says to Employers.” Fox Business. 3 June 2013. Web. 29 Aug. 2014. <>.

Fish, Greg. “Employers, Get Outta My Facebook.” Business Week. Bloomsburg, 20 Mar. 2008. Web. 28 Aug. 2014. <>.

Warren, Christina. “10 People Who Lost Jobs Over Social Media Mistakes.” Mashable. 16 June 2011. Web. 29 Aug. 2014. <>.