Michael Arrington is right. Google’s bloggers are learning an important lesson today.
When you speak in public and everyone knows who you work for you ARE representing your company. Even if you think you aren’t.
I know lots of you disagree, but you’re wrong. I’ve seen people get fired for things they’ve done on their own time, at a bar. Or a party after a conference.
Yeah, you can put some distance between you and your employer and keep things a little calmer if you write a disclaimer at the top of your posts. Something like “I am speaking for myself, not for my employer.”
But even then I still am building a mental model of your employer based on what you’re writing.
If you are a jerk, I’m going to assume your employer hires jerks.
I’ve noticed that people respond to ME differently because of how someone else at PodTech treated them. And I definitely hear it when I’ve been a jerk to someone else, or when I say something that reflects poorly on PodTech. There’s more than 30 people working at PodTech now and many of them don’t appreciate it when I write something idiotic (which is often).
I’m human, I make mistakes. So do employees at Google.
But those of us who work for corporations need to recognize that every word we write is seen as coming from the company in some way. It might not be right, but that’s the way it is.
If you don’t like it go work for yourself. Of course then you won’t get the flow that comes with being able to say “I’m a doctor working at Google.”