Recently, I read a news article about an employee of eBay, who had begun tweeting on his company’s blog about the quarterly earnings calls and other topics. This made eBay’s lawyers jittery, and they required the blogger to include certain disclaimers in his posts.
This incident highlights the tensions that can arise as companies jump on the bandwagon of social media, a medium hitherto used in an informal and social way by individuals primarily. As more and more organizations sponsor their own blogs and Twitter a/cs, they bring with them a more ‘corporate’ approach, which does not necessarily gel well with the spontaneity and openness of the networks. While the hallmark of the social media networks so far has been its transparency and personal touch, a too-frank or open blog or comment about the company can run the risk of running afoul of the authorities, say for the disclosure of insider information.
So I wonder which way the wind will blow – will the company blogs adopt the informal and immediate approach of a social blog, or will the blog turn into another ponderous vehicle of information, lacking vivacity and being boringly safe?