Blogging and Work, Lamont Forum Room, 11/14/2005j

Blogging and Work
Jessica Baumgart
Lamont Forum Room
Monday, November 14, 2005

Raise your hand if:

[Of an audience of about 55]

  • You blog [5 hands]
  • You blog about work [same hands]
  • You work with someone who blogs [a few different hands]
  • A coworker blogs about work [very few hands]
  • You read a coworker’s blog [1 or 2 hands?]
  • You hope no one you work with reads your blog [2 hands]

Is it bad to have coworkers who blog?

Is it good to have coworkers who blog?

Does it matter?

Blogging can be bad when

  • Someone reveals secrets publicly
  • Library users feel like if they use the library, they’re going to end up on a blog
  • It lowers morale
  • It causes problems in the workplace
  • It harms the institution

Blogging can be good when

  • It becomes a positive marketing tool for the organization
  • It establishes someone’s credentials
  • It creates community among coworkers
  • Other coworkers find it valuable
  • It has nothing to do with the job

What to do about workers who blog?

  • Talk about it
  • Try not to be paranoid
  • Create a policy, if desired
  • Trust

Blogging and Job Seekers

  • Hiring decisions
  • ‘No blog’ policies
  • Revealing information not asked in a job interview

Separating a Blog from a Job

  • Tricky at Harvard because Harvard carries weight
  • Disclaimers
  • Choose topics and subjects wisely
  • Don’t be afraid to talk about issues with coworkers or managers

Personal Blog in a Professional World

  • Some people can’t separate the two
  • Multiple blogs
  • Don’t write anything you wouldn’t want your manager to read
  • Even anonymous blogs aren’t completely safe
  • If you have doubts, don’t blog it

Blogging at Harvard


  • Former Berkman Fellow Dave Winer
  • 2003
  • Among the leading universities in campus-wide blogging initiatives

Who can blog?

  • Most Harvard affiliates
  • Students, faculty, staff, alumni
  • Must have Harvard-based e-mail address

Why Blog on Harvard’s Server?

  • It’s free.
  • It’s easy.
  • Hosted: domain
  • Manila is more robust than most other free software.
  • Switch to WordPress
  • Support resources

Why not to Blog on Harvard’s Server

  • Hosted: domain
  • Can be harder to separate personal life from work life
  • Manila or WordPress might not be the right platform for you.
  • What happens if you leave Harvard?

Support Resources