These blogs can be useful and dangerous

A blog is an enormously powerful enabling tool, potentially anyone on planet earth can put their views in front of everyone on planet earth. This has led to all sorts of interesting phenomenon. The Baghdad blogger told us what it was like to be living in a country that we, the West, were (illegally) attacking. This gave us a unique insight into what it was like to be on the other side.

In computer games we have the EA Spouse who, by revealing working conditions and pay, succeeded in improving the lives of thousands of game industry workers. It has become a very powerful marketing tool. Every game should have a development blog that enables potential customers to follow the story of what they are going to buy.

Now we have Nintendo technical recruiter Jessica Zenner (pen name Jessica Carr) sacked for writing about work.

Here is an extract from her blog: “One plus about working with hormonal, facial-hair-growing, frumpy is that I have found a new excuse to drink heavily” “My gut tells me that this woman hasn’t been fu***d in years.”

About 5 or 6 years ago, before the blog explosion, I was using Google in different ways to research Codemasters’ online presence. I came across a blog from one of our employees, Andrew Pallister, which was a detailed written and photographic diary of his life. It is called MeDiaryPics. And any journalist or competitor would have made hay with the contents. Hundreds of photographs of inside the company and a detailed log of all his work on our games. All created in innocence of the potential downside.

So obviously I told my superiors. I also had to explain to them what a blog was. What I was hoping was that we could stop the potential leaking and at the same time harness Andrew’s knowledge and talent for marketing advantage. But HR have a very one dimensional view on life. Andrew was asked to remove all the sensitive stuff from his blog, which must have taken him ages. A blog policy (ie don’t write anything about the company) was instituted and sent to every employee. Marketing opportunity lost.

So is your company frightened of blogs or does it embrace them for the good that they can do?


  1. My boss found my ‘stupidfuckingcustomers’ blog. Someone squealed on us. I don’t work there anymore.

    I feel pretty ashamed at the moment. I did over 5 years there and it all came down to this.

    I know some of the stuff I blogged about was bad, but a lot was over exaggerated for comedic effect and lots of stuff was made up entirely. I thought everyone knew this.

    My boss had every right to be annoyed, but he definately missed the point with a lot of it. It’s hard to convey emotion through words sometimes. I think he read too much into some of the posts and assumed malicious attacks on his character that I simply did not mean to convey. It was a joke that went a bit too far.

    I think the post that seemed to annoy him the most was the ‘top tips at work’ section. I did something about stealing a quid from the till. This was entirely made up. I’ve never stolen anything from there because it’s not in my nature to do so. I may be a lot of things, but a thief certainly isn’t one of them. I even remember doing something in the comments section about me not actually stealing anything and that the post was made up. I have a strange sense of humour that some people just don’t get.

    Basically, my boss now thinks that I was shit, was always shit and always will be shit. The truth of the matter is that the only thing I really did wrong, was blog about the stuff that annoys me.

    I could go on forever about who was wrong and who was wrong. The fact is that my boss was in the wrong with certain working conditions. I moaned about them, went too far, and lost my job.

    I want to forget about things now and move on.

  2. Sorry to hear that Phorenzik, you had a cult there.
    Good luck with your moving on.

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