Some discussions have been happening in the office and on Twitter about what a good company blogging guidelines document looks like. I always say when asked that question that a really good example is Yahoo. Not only because they published their guidelines online openly at a relatively early stage (like four years ago I believe) but also because one of their social media evangelists re-wrote his own version and published it on his blog - and his version became the defacto standard version (or so the story goes).
His name is Jeremy Zawodny, and I believe he no longer works for Yahoo. But here is his blog and the blogging policy I mentioned. Happy reading.
After a lot of work internally, the Yahoo! Employee Blog Guidelines have been published. Yahoo! employees can find them on Backyard (our corporate Intranet) and the rest of you can get the PDF file by clicking that link.
Toward the end of writing these, the Powers That Be asked a few of us existing Y! Bloggers if we would like to toss in our own advice that they could link to. Here is what I wrote.
So you wanna blog about Yahoo...
But before you get started, let me offer a few bits of advice. I've been writing publicly about Yahoo on my weblog for a few years now and its been a lot of fun. There are A LOT of people out there who want to read about what goes on here and what we're up to: friends, family, fans, lawyers, enemies, journalists, shareholders, the SEC, and crazy people looking for anyway they can to get in touch with Yahoo.
Basically, just about anyone can and will read what you publish. So keep that in mind. If you're worried about what your Mom, manager, ex-coworker, or Terry Semel would think, listen to that instinct. And realize that once a cat is out of the bag, you can never get the damned thing back in. The blog world is incredibly efficient at spreading rumors, secrets, rants, hyperbole, and your mistakes.
You'll make mistakes. We all do. Just try to be smart about it.
But above all else, have fun with it. You'll meet a lot of interesting people and find that you never think about this company the same way again.
I wouldn't still be doing this if I didn't enjoy it. The fact that our executive team is giving is their official recognition and endorsement says a lot about the future of Yahoo.
Go forth and write. Be yourself. Speak your mind.
Now I fully expect someone to point out a dozen or so times that I've completely disregarded the spirit of the guidelines. Knock yourself out. :-)