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The Economist on Blogging

That bastion of free trade economics and British pithy humor has an article about corporate blogging: Face Value. It focuses on Scoble and Microsoft, but also mentions other bloggers, including Jonathan Schwarz.

There’s defintely a fine line between blogging and revealing company secrets. Mark Jen certainly found that out. The quick, informal, personal nature of blogging, combined with its worldwide reach and googles cache, mean that it poses a new challenge to corporations who want to be ‘on message’.

It also exposes a new risk for employees and contractors. I blog about all kinds of technologies, including some that I’m paid to use. At what point does the knowledge I gain from a client’s project become mine, so that I can post about it? Or does it ever? (Obviously, trade secrets are off limits, but if I discover a better way to use Spring or a solution for a common struts exception, where’s the line?) Those required NDAs can be quite chilling to freedom of expression and I have at least one friend who has essentially stopped blogging due to the precarious nature of his work.