There’s been a few discussions internally (at my employer) about blogging in the outside world and how to avoid releasing important company intellectual property.
My own approach to this dilemma is as follows:
I avoid talking about things that I am directly working on, I’m never going to talk about a customer project, for instance.
If I’m doing some research to formulate a point of view, for the organisation, I might talk about the reference sources (if they are publicly available) but I’m not going to talk about the research itself. I’m not releasing any secrets if information is already known, and it’s already known if it’s published somewhere on the internet.
If the reference source is available to me in a privileged way I’m not going to even acknowledge its existence, but there are fewer things that are like that these days. Thankfully, we seem to be heading to a more open world.
I feel quite happy to talk about methods of doing things. In talking about Rich Pictures and Concept Mapping I’m talking about methodologies that are, again, publicly known. I’m not going to talk about how I have applied them to a specific customer problem or project though.
I might talk about my personal experience, as I have in the my changing workplace series (which I must get back to), but I’m going to do so in a generic or abstract way. Again, I’m not going to talk about customers or colleagues which is as much about privacy as anything. I am likely to talk about technologies, but that’s because they are publicly known.
There are lots of things that I talk about that aren’t directly linked to my job, and there I make a judgement about whether the subject is near enough to what I do to avoid it, or far enough away for me to talk about it. My recent post, The Light Bulb Conspiracy: A Documentary is a good example of this, I experience the impact of planned obsolescence so I’m interested in it, but it’s not a direct consideration in my work. My post The March of the Freelancers is a bit closer to my work, but I still concluded that it was far enough away and already publicly available so wasn’t an issue.
All of my Because it’s Friday or quote posts are publicly known and rarely relate directly to my work so don’t give me to much to worry about.
There’s also a whole load of posts that you could fit into the title: have you seen this? Here I’m just trying to link the people who read this blog with something interesting. Again, it’s publicly known, I’m just pointing it out, a bit like a guide on a walk pointing out the scenery.
You’ll also notice that I don’t have any form of disclaimer on my site about it being my personal opinion, the reason for this is that I’ve concluded that they don’t make any difference. You’ll also notice that there aren’t any copyright notices, because I’d rather be open, I have considered putting a creative commons notice on just to make it clear where I stand.
I know that others work to different frameworks, but I thought I’d highlight mine.