Mario Sundar's Speakeasy

Spero Ventures. Early LinkedIn, Twitter. These are my thoughts on tech, brand, marketing and community.

Employee Blog Ownership – Company or Employee?

My recent post on IBM’s attempted “take over” of one of their former employees’ (Gia Lyons’) blog generated an interesting discussion. My confusion stemmed from the fact that IBM’s Social Computing Guidelines very clearly stipulate their embrace of blogging, but the decision to take over the second highest ranking blog (not sure if that means external blog or internal blog) seemed rather uncalled for.

Anyways, check out the comments it garnered. I’d like to bring to your attention a comment from Adam Clyde, who actually helped craft IBM’s Social Computing Guidelines:

Hi Mario, from what I can tell (I haven’t heard from Gia personally yet, though hope to shortly), this was likely the case of a well-meaning, though clearly misguided, individual at IBM…

I helped guide the process by which the community created the Social Computing Guidelines. The concept of blog ownership isn’t explicitly defined, but I think the common knowledge is that blogs created on IBM hosted environments stay with the company if the person leaves. But if the blog is on their own environment, that’s their’s and stays with the person.

What’s not clear to me is whether this referred to Gia’s internal or external blog. Her internal blog still sits live (though inactive) with all the content within IBM’s firewall. And will stay that way – attributed to her. Her external blog, which was only live for a few months before she left, is hers and stays that way.

Upon re-reading Gia’s post, it seems like she was talking about her internal blog and as Adam points out “her internal blog still sits live (though inactive) with all the content within IBM’s firewall. And will stay that way – attributed to her.”  So, what do you guys, think?

Who owns an employee’s internal company blog once they leave?

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Filed under: Business Blogging, Employee Engagement

3 Responses

  1. Gia Lyons says:

    Hi Mario! I just wanted to point out that nobody at IBM actually took over my internal IBM blog, and it won’t happen. But, just the idea that someone suggested it was enough to get me, erm, excited. 🙂

    That said, that internal blog site and content are legally wholly owned by IBM, and they can do whatever they want with it. Ultimately, though, the internal IBM blogging community – the people themselves, and not any single individual – own it. And knowing those people, I completely trust them to do whatever should be done to further the good of their community.

    I guess that’s my answer to “Who owns an employee blog?” … “The employee*s* who remain.”


  2. Mario Sundar says:


    Good to hear from you. I’m not sure how the internal blogs are structured at IBM. If it’s around topic, I definitely believe it’d make sense for the employees who dabble in that topic to continue blogging, but if it’s around personal identity it probably lives on as yours.

    Either way, was a good case study to discuss on the blog. Thanks for the clarification.


  3. Adam says:

    @Gia “I guess that’s my answer to “Who owns an employee blog?” … “The employe’s who remain”

    I like that.


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