This week was a difficult week. My job is fantastic and I am appreciated by my peers and my clients. For the first time, though, I believe my blog interfered in my professional relationships. Having spoken with them at length, I don't believe there is a concern with my employer. My leaders absolutely believe in blogging as healthy expression. Of course, they can not take responsibility for my comments since they are mine and no one else's. As a result, you'll notice that I no longer have a link to my employer. It's too bad – since I love promoting them as a leader in the database and digital marketing industry.
An issue was raised by a client who was also a previous employer of mine. Though I did not work directly for either company when they solidified their relationship… and I did not leave one for the other, some questions were raised by the client regarding my employment and my responsibilities in their relationship with my current employer.
I believe the issue surfaced as a result of a couple of blog entries I made that criticized some of the marketing efforts of my previous employer. Amazingly enough, with the handful of folks that read my blog… my previous employer was one of them. I'm flattered that I was the topic of conversation throughout the company… many of my friends filled me in. My words struck a chord so loud that I believe it chimed from the department I used to work for, through the corporation, through my current employer and back to me! I knew it was coming and had prepared for it – but it was still an uncomfortable situation.
Questioning the status quo is always healthy. While employed with that company, the boss that hired me was recognized corporation wide for the direction he was taking us. Though we were a small department, we worked outstandingly as a team and were able to deliver – over and over and over again. Friends have shared with me that they don't believe the new team has had the success that we had. I suppose that's why lil ol' Doug's blog raised such a stink.
I'm not going to allow anyone the opportunity to point to my blog as a source for their fortune or misfortune. I removed the entries in my blog that caused the ruckus out of respect for my current employer. I still hold the corporation I had worked for in very high regard. As well, the professionals I worked with there were second to none. I still think highly of the leader that hired me and drove my success there. And I'm even thankful that I was lead out the door by the new management. After all, my departure lead me to the fantastic company, industry and position I have now!
I would have not commented had I not cared. I even still have a few shares of stock in the corporation I used to work for. Can a stockholder not criticize the company they own stock in?
Forbes had a great article, Attack of the Blogs, speaking to the onslaught of blogs that are injuring reputations and hurting companies. It's interesting to me that a publication would take a stance against free speech. If the intent of a blog entry is to hurt a company using lies or deceit, then I believe that is slander. But if the blog entry is an honest criticism of the company that is heading in the wrong direction… Is that slanderous? I think not.
I believe it's hypocritical, pompous, and pretentious of the Constitutionally protected ‘Free Press' in this company to fight blogging. Blogging puts my voice as loud as the next and provides me a means to freely express my opinion. Imagine how blogging could have helped our country in the fight for equal rights of women and minorities! Their voices could have been heard and protected without fear of reprisal. I'm starting to believe that nothing is ironic as Rosa Parks lies in State this week.
I would have loved to have read Ms. Parks' blog!