A UK blogger, living in France, was sacked (Roland Piquepaille, famous technologist blogged that).
She won’t be the last one. Blogging is like hopping on stage at a major conference. You wouldn’t do that and start talking smack about your boss, would you? Would you honestly expect to stay employed?
If your boss doesn’t know you’re doing it, that should set off alarm bells right there. Talking online WILL get back to your boss. Unless you are so freaking careful to make sure you stay anonymous (like MiniMicrosoft, Microsoft’s anonymous blogger, has so far). This person obviously didn’t stay anonymous enough. It’s why I don’t advise anyone try the anonymous route: either be straight up with your boss and everyone, or stay off the Internet.
The lawsuit that springs out of this will be interesting to watch. If it succeeds it’ll set back corporate blogging in Europe because corporations will just adopt a zero tolerance policy toward any blogging out of school. I hope she gets kicked out of court.
Here in California and Washington we are an “work at will” state. I can get fired for pretty much any reason, especially when I talk about my workplace on stage in public (my contracts with all my recent employers says that and rubs it in). Such a lawsuit would be laughed out of court here.
Anytime you are identifyable with your company you’ve gotta be professional about your behavior. It’s why at Microsoft we said the policy was “be smart.” That roughly translated to “don’t piss off your boss.”