IBM has had some guidelines for employees who want to blog for a while now. They’ve been very helpful for those of us wanting to go out and start blogging externally, and the principles also apply to our behaviour internally, and across many of the social media tools that we use. I always refer to them as “lightweight”, by which I mean they take a relatively light touch, don’t attempt to impose control, encourage us to be respectful and sensible, and generally fit in with our existing standards of behaviour. They’re largely common sense.
Over the past couple of months we’ve been working collaboratively to update the guidelines. We did this in the same way that we developed the original document – via a wiki, and some lively discussion on our internal blogging platform.
The new IBM Social Computing guidelines can now be found on the IBM website. They’ve been extended to talk a little about new technologies beyond blogging (social networks, media sharing sites, and so on), and just generally tweaked to ensure that we’re taking account of changes in online behaviours over the past couple of years. One of the things I like is that we’ve actually made very few changes to the document, and certainly no major revisions… I think that again demonstrates the “light touch” and flexibility of the original guidelines and the level of trust that IBM is showing in its employees. For me, this is a good place to be.