Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Secretary sacked for blogging

The story of the British secretary who was sacked for blogging about her life in Paris is doing the rounds - a colleague mentioned it to me this morning, then I read a Sydney Morning Herald report.

33-year old Catherine blogs on Petite Anglaise, and has built up a huge following judging by the number of coments she receives on each post.

She was sacked recently for gross misconduct, her employers claiming she brought the company into disrepute. And she is now launching a test case before a French employment tribunal.

Catherine's blog posts look harmless enough - I guess there are always two sides to the story, but the focus of her blog is really about her personal life, and it seems to be a fairly large over-reaction by her employer. It will be interesting to see how the court case pans out.

On a related issue, my colleague Glenn Fannick, was blogging last week about where people who blog for work should draw the line. He said,
"A few of my co-workers were chatting this morning about how much a person like myself should say when blogging about product development issues. It is a tough question. In my role at Factiva, I'm privy to product development and business plans which would be very interesting to write about. The things we wrestle with when deciding new product features and where to take the business would make for interesting writing. However, revealing such things could be bad for business. We don't want to tip our hands to the competition."
I agree with Glenn's view that it can be tricky to know when to draw the line about what to write on a blog about work - he goes on to say it is a matter of common sense. And I also share Glenn's view that a company like Factiva can foster loyalty in its employees by encouraging them to blog professionally or personally, and trusting them not to do or say anything that will harm the company.

I truly hope for the sake of free speech, that Catherine wins her court case.


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