I really like the way that IBM has worked with its employee bloggers to advance the company's goals and corporate reputation as well the personal goals of the individual employee bloggers. Nice job, IBM.
There is a comprehensive IBM employee blog directory that's easily found from the IBM home page. The introduction serves as a perfect description of the IBM philosophy towards blogs: "As they'll tell you themselves, the opinions and interests expressed on IBMers' blogs are their own and don't necessarily represent this company's positions, strategies or views. But that doesn't mean we don't want you to read them! Because they do represent lots of business and technology expertise you can't get from anyone else."
Isn't this a great recap of what blogs are about and what they mean to a company? Thanks to IBM for putting it in such a straightforward and easy to understand way.
The blog directory includes IBM employee blogs that are written on IBM Web real estate with IBM branding like this one from Rawn Shah, developerWorks' Community Program Manager, who focuses on how to develop greater interaction between members through the many community services IBM has such as blogs, forums, user groups, wikis and other services.
But there are also many blogs that are outside IBM gates such as this one called gengnosis by Mike Burr who writes: "While it is true that I work for IBM, I most certainly do NOT speak for them. Everything you read here reflects my own skewed view of the world and not necessarily IBM's view."
Interestingly, when you click on a blog in the IBM employee blog directory that is not on IBM's Web site, you are presented with a popup letting you know that you are leaving the IBM site.
One of the coolest aspects of this intelligent way of working with the passionate individuals who want to blog, is that IBM lets employees and any other interested people (like me!) read the company guidelines for blogs. IBM blogging guidelines are listed publicly for all to see, not hidden away in the HR or legal department.
I think the IBM model works really well. If your company is struggling with blogs and employee bloggers, think about emulating some of what IBM has pioneered here.