Suggestions To Novice IBM Bloggers

Bob Sutor just mentioned that a member of his team, Arnaud Le Hors, has started blogging outside the IBM firewall.

I just posted the first comment to this blog.

I’m also posting it here as I think it applies to any IBMer — or anyone else for that matter — who blogs in the open –outside the firewall — in a way that readers will be aware of their job and their employer.

By the way, Sean Dague, an LTC colleague has created the
LTC Planet (available only inside the IBM firewall).

It’s home page reads as follows:


LTC Planet

LTCers are blogging all over the place, and now there is an easy place to find their content.

The content is divided up into three sections:

Blog Central (accessible only within IBM)

This is the IBM internal blog repository. LTCer blogs are added automatically through a walk of Blue Pages. [1]

LTC External Planet (accessible only within IBM)

This is a list of LTCer external blogs of people talking about the work they do from IBM. You can think of these as external professional blogs by LTCers.

LTC Personal Planet (accessible only within IBM)

This is a list of LTCer external blogs that are purely personal, and don’t really discuss their work at IBM. It may not apply to technology directly, but is a good way to get a feel for your fellow LTCers as people, even if you’ve never met them face to face.


The current LTC professional bloggers are


Dear new IBM blogger,

Some suggestions from a long-time IBM blogger:

Stop using Blogspot, now. Start using WordPress. It is the best, it is free, and it is open-source.

Don’t give your name in capital letters. Give the proper spelling, which according to IBM’s Blue Pages is “Arnaud Le Hors.”

Add the standard disclaimer about not representing IBM’s opinions, etc. Bob’s blog has it featured in the top right hand corner. Also add the disclaimer when you write a post about a topic where folks might assume you are speaking on behalf of IBM.

Blogs are supposed to be egocentric. That’s the point, to let the world know you — and your ego — by way of your writing in your own words.

It also helps to get things off the ground by writing about anything you care about, be it Dylan, Second Life, or How To Get a Life. For example, by design I tried to take risk in my early writings to become more comfortable with blogging.

Try to write a lot, even if you know some of the initial work will be stupid. You need to blog with speed. Think of A.J. Liebling, who dsaid, “I can write faster than anyone who can write better, and better than anyone who can write faster.”

You say at the bottom, ”
[note: this post was slightly edited to improve the overall flow]”

You should free to edit posts after you publish them so long as you do not alter the basic meaning or intent.

If you use WordPress you can also change the title, but if you are unhappy with the title, just edit it. Do not delete the post and create another one so it will have the desired URL. That will lead to 404’s from Apache that readers will find annoying.

But these are but minor issues. The key point is that you have started blogging OUTSIDE the IBM firewall. That’s the place to be, our there with our partners, clients, and, perhaps due to your writing, some future clients and partners.

Keep up the good work.

thanks,
dave


Notes:

1. “Blue Pages” is IBM’s internal phone/people directory. The first such directory was created in the late 1970’s by Peter Capek of IBM Research , a friend of over forty years. He retired from IBM about a year ago. He played an important role in IBM’s early open-source efforts, and was the first to remark that one reason for Research to engage in open-source was that it would help in attracting folks to come work at Research.

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4 Comments

  1. Posted October 23, 2007 at 23:52 | Permalink | Reply

    forgot one dave: http://planet-ltc.org/

  2. Posted October 24, 2007 at 09:39 | Permalink | Reply

    Great post Dave. I can’t agree more on the dump blogger and use wordpress. The fragmented blogger rss feeds are very annoying to deal with for people trying to create planets, and the lack of rss per category is equally bad.

  3. Posted October 24, 2007 at 10:51 | Permalink | Reply

    I’m sure you guys are going to give me grief for using Moveable Type, then. 🙂

  4. Posted October 24, 2007 at 21:35 | Permalink | Reply

    Very good suggestions, thanks Dave.

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