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Denise Howell is a seasoned appellate and intellectual property litigator based in Los Angeles. Denise writes one of the first and most popular law-related blogs, Bag and Baggage, coined the term "blawg" and helped pioneer podcasting for lawyers. Microcontent obsessed since 2001, she is frequently quoted in the media on legal issues involving intellectual property and technology law. "Sound Policy" is Denise's show at IT Conversations, and it's also what she hopes results from the briefs she submits to court. Email Denise at

Dennis Kennedy is a computer lawyer and legal technology expert based in St. Louis, Missouri. An award-winning author, a frequent speaker and a widely-read blogger, he has more than 300 publications on legal, technology and Internet topics, many of which are collected in his e-books. Dennis has been described as someone who knows almost every rock song in existence and, more importantly, how they apply to technology and law. Email Dennis at his gmail address.

Tom Mighell is Senior Counsel and Litigation Technology Support Coordinator at Cowles & Thompson in Dallas. He has published the Internet Legal Research Weekly newsletter since 2000 and blogged about the Internet and legal technology at Inter Alia since August of 2002. With Tom's singing, Ernie on guitar and Dennis' encylopedic knowledge of rock music, we may have the beginnings of a good band, if this whole blog thing doesn't work out. Email Tom at

Marty Schwimmer left a partnership in the largest trademark practice in the world and founded Schwimmer Mitchell, a full-service IP micro-boutique in Westchester County, New York, where he represents owners of famous and not yet famous trademarks. He founded The Trademark Blog, the first IP law blog and the one with the most pictures. He is the first to come in and the last to leave in his firm. Email Marty at

Ernest Svenson practices law with a mid-sized law firm in New Orleans, specializing in business-related lawsuits. Most of his practice takes place in federal court, especially the Eastern District. He is best known for his weblog Ernie the Attorney, which he started as an experiment. Like many experiments it got out of control. Nevertheless, he continues to practice law and, occasionally, to seek enlightenment. Email Ernest at
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June 13, 2006

Without Corporate Blogging Policies "All Hell Breaks Loose"

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Posted by Dennis M. Kennedy

In an interesting bit of irony, PodTech.Net takes the occasion of the move of leading corporate blogger Robert Scoble to its ranks to unleash a breathless story (and accompanying podcast) about the dangers of corporate blogging. In the article and podcast, Allen Weiner, a media analyst and Research Vice President with Gartner, Inc. says he thinks companies need policies that govern in-house blogging, or, "all hell breaks loose." Yikes!

Weiner adds that “Unsanctioned corporate blogging is absolutely a tough call. And it happens in just about every organization.” Hmmm . . . "just about every organization," he says. I'd love to see the stats backing that assertion. In fairness, I'll note that I pulled the quotes from the overview article and suggest that people listen to the podcast of the interview of Weiner to get a fuller picture of his views.

Let me simply say that in "almost every organization" there probably is a corporate communication policy or Internet use policy already in place that comfortably covers blogging and bloggers. As we've mentioned many times on this blog, considering policies in a vacuum, or rushing in with standardized and ill-conceived "blogging policies" will be the recipe for making all hell break loose. Any reasonable approach to these issues involves a three-sided approach, reasonable policy, consistent enforcement and excellent training. Skimp on any of the three and you will have problems. Focus only on the "blogging policy" issue (especially without integrating the other aspects of corporate communications) and all hell may break loose.

We've covered the issue of "blogging policies" repeatedly and, we believe, reasonably on the Between Lawyers blog. It's sad to see that the hype and selling of corporate blogging policies continues unabated. For a very reasonable approach to this issue, see Denise's recent post "Blog in Peace." She doesn't talk about hell breaking loose even once in the post.

It'll be interested in seeing see if and how PodTech.Net implements Weiner's approach with Scoble, won't it? We'd certainly hate to see all hell break loose at PodTech.Net because of Scoble's blogging. I'm just noting the irony of the timing of this article and Scoble's move.

What might be quite useful to the blogging community at large would be for PodTech.Net and Scoble to share the "blogging policy" that will apply to Scoble so it might be analyzed and critiqued and possibly used as a model for companies taking progressive approaches to employee bloggers. Just a thought and an example of what we call open source lawyering might look like.

Comments (2) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Blogging Policies | Open Source Lawyering


1. Robert Scoble on June 27, 2006 2:01 AM writes...

Dennis: we'll have the same blog policy that Microsoft has: "be smart."

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2. Anonymous on August 18, 2007 3:50 AM writes...

Sorry :(

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