Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Bloggers beware

As we are now all a part of the brave new world of blogging, I am personally discovering some of the unintended outcomes of a CTO blog.

At my previous company, I started blogging well after I became CTO, and some of my team read it out of curiosity. But now at my new company, the new technology team got the chance to read my blog before I arrived, as did other department members. An experience on my first day in the office was someone stopping me in the hallway, and saying "you must be Jon Williams, I read your blog" (hope you liked it was my first thought).

I also discovered that some the tech team learned I was their new CTO via a blog post (not mine), and not from senior management. Not a desirable outcome, yet not something we can control. After we announced my departure at my previous company, and told our contacts of the change, it seemed someone would ending up blogging about it (and did). Clearly the time when companies controlled how information is passed to their employees is changing.

Recently, a fellow CTO at a smaller company was describing how he uses his public blog to influence his internal company agenda. Making his comments public often has a larger impact on his fellow co-workers than a private email. While that is not my intent in this blog, my writings do certainly reflect my views on technology, representing my thoughts and goals.

We should all by now be familiar with the stories of technology leaders who were fired for blogging about their company's technology detailed plans and architecture. This was my main reason for not starting a blog until 2007, quite a few years after those incidents. But in the same way we all figured out the correct "tone" of email, we've hopefully figured out the right tone, content and context for blogging.

And lastly, to the question I posed to another CTO blogger that "our kids will read all our blogs", he replied "...and stop part way through and say 'Dad, your blog is so boring, its all about technology'". Yikes!.

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