There comes a time in any organisation’s use of blogging, and for that matter other social media tools as well, when someone feels the need of a line in the sand. A blog post from James Dellow at Headshift Australia brought back my own “line in the sand” moment at the BBC, the moment when having some “official” view from the organisation about this new field of staff activity felt like a good thing to do.
The thing is, a blogging policy can range from “Don’t be stupid” to a multi-page legal document with every possible variation in between. The document says at least as much about the people writing it as it does about the people it will affect. The neat trick we pulled off at the BBC was to make them largely one and the same thing. We encouraged collective responsibility from the start. It wasn’t one group of people telling another group of people how to behave. Attempting to do so rarely works in online environments and indeed government legislation often falls prey to this. One group, who have status and power and feel the need to control, writing legislation intended to apply to a sphere of influence and activity of which they have little or no experience.
The thing to remember is that bad laws are hard to enforce while good rules pretty much enforce themselves. There are loads of different examples of blogging policies out there that you can learn from but make sure you don’t just copy and paste or worse still fall into the trap of letting someone else write yours!