I currently work for SUN Microsystems as a Data Center Architect. Or a Systems Administrator. Or as a generalist of one sort or another. It seems to vary depending on what day of the week it is and how many conference calls are scheduled.
I expect I’m going to probably have quite a bit to say about my employer in the near future, but for now, I just wanted to comment on one trend going on internally. There is a current push trying to get the employees to blog, and if/when they do, to adhere to certain guidelines about what they say about SUN and so on. I’m not precisely sure what started that idea, or why they felt the need to respond to it, but they’ve provided a portal for SUN employees who wish to blog on SUN’s dime (hardware and bandwidth) . For the record, this is not one of those.
Immediately after making this resource available, there was another flurry of notices about what they felt folks should and should not say about the company in these blogs. Hmm… I’m still formulating my thoughts on that. There seems to be a conflicting principle present in those statements.
Blogs seem to be, at their very core nature, sort of free-flowing streams of consciousness expressing the feelings of a particular individual (or perhaps a group) on a loosely defined set of topics. It seems reasonable to me that if one of those topics might be employment, or someone’s relationship to their employer, that those streams of consciousness may very well, at times, express some elements of discontent. This is a nice, flowery pleasant way of saying that if someone isn’t HAPPY with their job, their blog is going to reflect those feelings. So, enter SUN and its desire to have the public opinion of the company be a good one.
They want people who work for them, who also happen to blog, to not disparage the company in their remarks and comments. Suddenly, this mechanism for expression has a filter, or watchdog. That seems to defeat the very purpose.
That having been said… I’ll go a bit further on the topic. If I, as a loyal employee of said company, want to do my best to have the public (and oh … say … the financial analyst community) view of the company be a favorable one, since it also benefits me personally when that is true, isn’t it in my best interest to not disparage them as well? I’d think so.
Finally, my own stance I think… I do want SUN to succeed. I want to see the analyst view of the company improve, their stock prices go up, my own vested interest in the company to benefit from those events. So no… I won’t say bad things about the company that might influence those elements in a negative way. What I will go on to talk about, though, is how some of the internal machinations of the company impact my life, and how the changes they go through internally impact me. Issues of morale, RIFs (reductions in force), management movement, company strategy, product placement, marketing and publicly issued statements all seem to be fair game and topics for discussion.
If you also happen to work for SUN, and find something I say in here objectionable, please feel free to let me know so we can discuss it further, and assess the impact of those statements.