Tag Archives: blogging

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.http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpls/icp.jsp?arnumber=5210236

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.http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpls/icp.jsp?arnumber=5210236


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

image courtesy of www.citeman.com
image courtesy of www.citeman.com

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.

image courtesy of www.nydailymail.com
image courtesy of www.nydailymail.com

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.

image courtesy of www.abc2news.com
image courtesy of www.abc2news.com

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.

Image courtesy of www.startawildfire.com
Image courtesy of www.startawildfire.com

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.

Image courtesy of www.theworkplacetherapist.com
Image courtesy of www.theworkplacetherapist.com

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. <http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2013/06/03/what-your-social-media-reputation-says-to-employers/>.

Fish, Greg. “Employers, Get Outta My Facebook.” Business Week. Bloomsburg, 20 Mar. 2008. Web. 28 Aug. 2014. <http://www.businessweek.com/debateroom/archives/2010/12/employers_get_outta_my_facebook.html>.

Warren, Christina. “10 People Who Lost Jobs Over Social Media Mistakes.” Mashable. 16 June 2011. Web. 29 Aug. 2014. <http://mashable.com/2011/06/16/weinergate-social-media-job-loss/>.





Blog Post #1: Corporate Blogging and Ethics

Blogs have completely revolutionized the way that we communicate in a professional setting. Using the internet allows us to communicate using smaller amounts of time and larger amounts of information, but with the use of blogs also comes responsibility (Yeganeh, Bauback, and Darren Good, 2011). When using blogging in a professional and even non-professional setting a certain set of ethical guidelines should accompany the blog post because: the lines between business and personal blogging are beginning to be blurred, and there are legal and non-legal repercussions to reckless blog posting, and ethical guidelines allow the blog-post viewer to be protected from advertising and other undesirable content.

Information on the internet is literally so easily accessible that almost anything that you are looking for can be found in just a few simple clicks. Since the internet has progressed and continues to progress the line between what is personal information and what can be accessed or perceived as professional information on the internet has began to blur. Since most personal blogging websites (such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.) can be viewed by future employers and other business savvy people, I think it is responsible to accompany some set (whether loose or strict)  of ethical guidelines to personal blog entries because the blog poster may never know whether or not their content is being viewed by a third party.

The internet used purely for personal use is subject to a wide array of different uses and guidelines all of which are subjective to the person’s own set of personal guidelines and decisions, but in a corporate or business setting there are various sets of legal and non-legal risks that accompany blog posts (Strother, Judith A., Zohra Fazal, and Melinda Millsap, 2009). Communicating certain types of information in a corporate setting can lead to serious consequences. Blog journalists in corporate settings are liable to the same rights that govern traditional journalists making them or their companies liable if they post comments on internal rumors (Strother, Judith A., Zohra Fazal, and Melinda Millsap, 2009).

How many times have you read an internet blog and half-way through the blog realized it was an advertisement? I have done this a lot, and it is always frustrating. There are laws governing the advertisement legality of internet blog posting, and for good reasons (Smuddle, 2005). The audience or blog-viewer can become victim of the harsh reality of the internet. There is a lot of content broadcasted across the internet that many people would find offensive and even harmful. It should be in the interest of the blog-viewer and blog-writer to be mindful of the way certain content on the internet affects other people.


Sources cited:


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.


Smudde, Peter M. “Blogging, Ethics And Public Relations: A Proactive And Dialogic Approach.” Public Relations Quarterly 50.3 (2005): 34-38. Business Source Complete. Web. 29 Aug. 2014.


Yeganeh, Bauback, and Darren Good. “Metaphorically Speaking: Micro-Blogging As A Way To Reframe Workplace Interaction.” OD Practitioner 43.3 (2011): 12-17. Business Source Complete. Web. 29 Aug. 2014