Well, the posting of the blogging guidelines sure seems to have generated lots of attention. Just about all of it positive, which is a good thing :-). In particular I wanted to point out Tim Bray's comments and answer a few of the points he raises.
So, its now officially OK for IBMers to blog. I read their policy guidelines with interest, since I led the drafting of the Sun version when we launched just over a year ago. The IBM policy is remarkably consistent with ours, there are only a few differences that leap out at me. First, there is specific advice to "speak in the first person", which I think is excellent and we should steal next time we do a revision. Second, under the heading "Add value" there is language that makes it pretty clear that blogs on IBM properties are supposed to be about IBMs business and not much else. I guess this is reasonable, but it would rule out things like our globalful and Isa, which add some chuckles to the world and dont cost much. Even our mostly-tech blogs regularly veer out into off-the-job territory, for example, I just hopped over to blogs.sun.com and out of the most recent posters picked chandanlog(3C). Hmm. Finally, under the heading "Dont pick fights" (who could disagree) there is a flat statement "You should avoid arguments", and thats just wrong. Human intellectual progress relies heavily on arguing things out, some guy named Socrates was a pioneer. About three-quarters of my job consists of arguing with people about one thing or another, how could I not do it here? A blogosphere without arguments would be a poor, thin, boring place. Still, itll be nice to have IBM around, and heres my advice to to all the incoming Big Blue bloggers: dont forget to have fun.
First off, thanks for the Welcome. Sun's policy was a huge help for us as we went through the process. Thanks for posting it for all the world to see. Second, "adding value" does not always mean "strictly business". Our internal blog host, for example, has a couple of posts containing several hundred humorous animated gifs that folks have found around the net. My internal blog contains pictures of my family fed in through a Flickr badge and even features a random Bible-quote displayed in the margins. The value of blogs both inside and outside the firewall is intrinsically tied to the community the forms around them. The richer the community, the greater the value. You simply cannot remove individual personality from the equation and expect it to work. Third, the statement about avoiding arguments is targeted more at the stupid, useless kinds of flamebait arguments that never lead to anyone ever coming away with something new, something valuable. This gets back to adding value. Reasonable adults will always disagree, sometimes passionately; and they should never be afraid of discussing those differences -- but do so in a way that adds value to the discussion rather than tearing down or attacking an individual simply because you disagree with him (or her). So please don't read the statement "avoid arguments" too strongly.