Blog your way to the dole queue

In cyberspace, no one can hear you scream

Blogging is a risky business which could interfere with your greasy climb up the company ladder, according to a not-so-revelatory study.

It found that over a third of employees surveyed had written blog posts about their employers, of which some 39 per cent admitted revealing details that "could be potentially sensitive or damaging about their place of work, employer or a colleague".

Human resources (sic) firm Croner commissioned the survey, which was carried out by YouGov.

As a result of the findings, Croner said it will be advising companies to consider ways of limiting the negative impact of employees' personal, bitchy blogs on their business.

Gillian Downing, techie consultant at the HR firm said: "An employee can be lulled into a false sense of security and sound offs about his bad day at work on a blog without fully considering the impact such a posting may have.

"If there is a negative impact on the organisation's corporate image which is so serious that it breaches the implied term of mutual trust and confidence, the employee could be dismissed for gross misconduct."

Helpfully, the study suggested encouraging workers to positively channel their creative juices into what it described as a, er, "corporate blog".

It reckoned that internet policies, which already restrict many employees' email and website usage in the workplace, could be extended to include blogging.

The study compared blogging to the naivety displayed by email users back in the early 90s when they were apparently unaware of the potential damage firing off a few angry missives here and there could cause. How quaint.

Forgetting that it's not 2003, Croner said blogs were in fact "burgeoning" in the UK blogosphere. It's an empowering tool, apparently, where anyone can freely whinge about anything. No, really?

But such a clampdown perhaps overlooks one important fact: Most bloggers garner very few readers, a bit like listening to one man and his dog sat in the corner of the local pub ranting about the big bad boss.

It can be quite entertaining, but is the kind of noise most people choose to ignore.

Anyway, as everyone including the Today programme on Radio 4 will tell you, it's all about social [cough] networking and Facebook now where you can setup groups and have a right good old moan about why your job sucks.

And it can all be done by invitation only to keep snooping bosses out of the picture. ®

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