I gave two presentations about blogging to the staff of Harvard Business School’s Baker Library yesterday. I think the presentations went well. The audience seemed engaged and lots of people had very good questions. Both presentations just skimmed the surface of the world of blogging.
One man talked about the development of someone’s voice on a blog and likened the state of blogs to the early days of e-mail when people often thought they were reading and writing formal memos. He reminded everyone that what goes out on the Internet stays there. With potential employers doing Web searches, we should all be cautious about what we say. Another audience member talked about the importance of being able to password-protect blogs and blog posts so not everyone has access to all of your content.
After I mentioned Michael Watkins’ blog in one session, we discussed whether the Harvard administration has any control over what people post on their Harvard-hosted blogs and whether they censor blogs. Watkins taught at Harvard Business School and wrote about his failure to get tenure, among other things, on his blog. Since the tenure process is rather secretive and sensitive, his posts received some media attention and raised eyebrows. Some of the staff members mentioned rules about communicating to the media and wondered how blogging conflicts with those rules. We also talked a little bit about the Harvard staff member who was fired for content on her blog, which was not hosted by Harvard.
There were also lots of good technical questions. We talked about the ability to categorize blog posts and whether blogs could group posts by category or automatically categorize some posts. Several people asked about the possibility of having multiple editors and password-protected blogs. I demonstrated how to do a blog post after a talk, too.
At least one of the women walked out of the room geared up to start her own blog.