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IBM to employees: blog on

IBM on Monday issued a company policy on blogging and encouraged its employees to take part.

The guidelines and policy were posted by long-time IBM blogger James Snell, a member of the company's software standards strategy group, as well as by Ed Brill, an executive at IBM's Lotus division.

Snell and Brill said that the policy was generated primarily from a list of recommendations from internal practitioners, rather than handed down by IBM lawyers. IBM has a handful of high-profile employees who write blogs, including vice president of standards Robert Sutor, IBM fellow Grady Booch, Sam Ruby, and Brill. Snell said that in the past 18 months, over 3,000 blogs have sprouted up in IBM, with over 1,000 considered active.

"(The policy) recognizes the value of individual voices, yet the reality of where those voices originate. It provides a mechanism for IBM to protect its overall market messages -- yet also provides aircover for IBMers who speak out," Brill wrote in his blog Monday.

The guidelines provide recommendations on how to create a blog, such as using the first-person voice, owning up to mistakes and avoiding fights.

According to the executive summary, IBM is encouraging the use of blogs, wikis and other forms of communication in order to help employees learn from others and share information about their own work.