Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Nearly 70 percent of companies have no guidelines for Employee Blogging: survey

Almost 70 percent of companies have no policies or guidelines in place for employee bloggers, a recent Edelman/Intelliseek survey found out.

A Friendster employee Joyce Park, who was given the sack last year for criticising the company on her personal blog lamented that Friendster "did not have any policy, and didn't give me any warning."

I don't think many companies here in Singapore have a set of guidelines for employees who blog. And not many have included guidelines for blogging in their existing company policies.

An aside from research thoughts, whatever happened to Malaysian blogger's site, sixthseal.com? I'm not going to provide a link to cached copies of his site because I certainly don't advocate the use of drugs for recreational purposes. I don't know if those pictures of him taking drugs were for real but his other postings on food, friends, the clubbing scene and life in general in Malaysia was fascinating.

I can understand why the authorities clamped down on him but seriously, his blog made me NOT want to go near any of those substances he was taking. I'll miss his lucid, humorous writing.

Will write again soon ...

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Snapshot survey results and the "studied minuet" between bloggers and audience

Thanks to all who have taken part in my survey so far;
to Pradeep who blog-linked me -- I stumbled Pradeep's blog and found out that he graduated from NTU!
Thanks also to Andrew Coates, from Australia,

and to Sivasothi aka Otterman, who works at the National University of Singapore's Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, - is someone I interviewed many moons ago about the Mac Meetup group in Singapore.

And now, a snapshot update on the results of my on-going survey, 67 out of 93 respondents say they identify themselves on their blog.
Of these, 61 of 93 say they post pictures of themselves, people they know/work with and places that they visit/work at on their blog.
That's a pretty strong indication that most people who blog about work are really open about giving out information about their work.

Does this mean that a lot of employee bloggers are not buying U.S. civil rights group, the Electronic Frontier Foundation's advice on How to Blog Safely (About Work Or Anything Else)? I'll only know when the survey has closed.

Meanwhile, here's a paper I read last night on motivations for blogging and the extent of social interactivity concerning the bloggers that the authors studied.

One thing that struck me on how right the authors were: "Readers create blogs as much as writers...", they gave an excerpt of email exchanges between two bloggers about the discussion of racial stereotypes. A discussion about race, as the authors pointed out are always potentially inflammatory - was well handled by the bloggers after they had emailed each other privately and then, posted their discussions on their blogs.

The authors concluded that "blogs, then, are a studied minuet between blogger and the audience. Bloggers consider audience attention, feedback and feelings as they write."

Right indeed, I think for many bloggers, reading and responding on a regular basis, or at least at crucial moments to comments and emails from fellow bloggers or blog readers are just as important as the entries that they post on their blogs.

If you've any stories to add about the "minuet" between bloggers and their audience, do post a comment:-)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Got a nice email from Robert Scoble, Microsoft's technical evangelist

I'm plugging away at sending these invitational e-mails to take part in my survey at 12.30 am when I get an email from celebrity blogger Robert Scoble who is Microsoft's technical evangelist.
The gist of his message was that he'd try to link my survey on his blog...he's currently taking a train that's running at 200mph with no Internet connection.
So I replied, thanking Robert and wishing him a safe and enjoyable journey.
I had written to Robert earlier on Saturday requesting him to link my survey on his widely-read blog.
It was a total gamble on my part, seeing how busy he is!
Robert recently penned a book on business blogging called Naked Conversations with Shel Israel.
The way he blogs about work was one of the reasons that piqued my interest in the impact of employee blogs.
It's early days yet for work blogs. Here in Singapore, we've had a rash of negative publicity over racist bloggers, slanderous bloggers, you name it.
Every outspoken blog has its day, so maybe somewhere out there, a made-in-"Uniquely Singapore" work/employee blog will see its name in neon lights soon!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Latest update on survey results: Some demographics and information about Employee Bloggers

Okay, I've just had a look at the survey data and want to share it with you.

Demographics: There are currently 32 respondents who completed the entire survey. Here's the breakdown :
From : Singapore - 21
United States - 4
Malaysia - 4
Denmark - 1
United Kingdom - 1
Australia - 1

Interesting answers to some questions in my survey

Q: What motivated you to start blogging about work?
-- People always ask about my job. (Doesn't that sound familiar? :-> )
-- Sometimes it's just stress, so I needed an outlet.
-- I was invloved in the marketing campaign for the first Asian corporate blogging campaign.
-- I post about anything I find interesting/annoying/amusing, and work can sometimes encompass all three.
-- It was an experiment. Also, I wanted to let more people know what exactly does a public librarian

Okay, I'll post more throughout the day. Please fill out the entire survey if you haven't taken it yet -- it takes 20 minutes at the most -- your co-operation is much appreciated!

To all survey respondents: Please fill in the entire survey, tks!

Just a short post before I send out more e-mail invitations.

Can I request that all survey respondents fill in the ENTIRE survey? The survey program lists 108 respondents, an encouraging number given that my email invitations were sent out only 4 days ago.

But on careful examination, only 31 respondents completed the entire survey. Please try and complete my survey otherwise the information cannot be used in my research.

Also, survey respondents can only be entered in a lucky draw if they've filled in the entire survey and allow me to read their blogs for a qualitative study.

There are over 50 short multiple-choice-style questions in my survey.

Thank you for your co-operation!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Results of pre-test survey on employee bloggers available by Sunday & tks to all who've helped to link my on-going survey

Results of the pre-test survey -- I'll try to post it here by Sunday.Meanwhile, I've sent it to those who asked for it via email. If u can't wait till Sunday, email me anytime:-)

Thanks to all who have kindly blog-linked me -- thank you so much to :
1)tomorrow.sg editors
Agagooga(whom I first came across after Googling his avatar "wo hen nankan" -- now that's another stry, email me to find about hilarious "wo hen" phenomena)and Cowboy Caleb

2)Gunnar from Frederikssund in Denmark who blog-linked me on
Langemarks Cafe I came across his very informative blog while research-surfing.

3)...And of course to my SCI/IS 'senior', the rapier-witted Ivan Chew aka rambling librarian for his suggestions.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Take part in Survey on Employee Blogs and win US$50 Amazon.com gift cert

It's been a while since I last updated my blog. My prof approved the questions and I'm in the midst of sending out invitation e-mails to take the survey.

I'm crossing my fingers that I'll get a good response rate (i.e. a decent sample size).

Will update later!

Monday, November 28, 2005

A big THANK YOU to all respondents of my pre-test survey!

Thanks for taking the survey and offering me your suggestions!
Thank you so much (in no particular order...) Angelia, Dawn & friends, Willie (?), Ian, Sharlene, Eng Beng & friends, Pammy & friends, Sharlene, and anyone else I may have missed out.

I have closed the pre-test survey and am re-formulating the questions for the final questionnaire.

Results of the pre-test survey will be posted on this blog so you can have a look -- before the end of today.

It's been a hectic weekend.

I worked on Saturday and Sunday as I had to take some weekdays off last week but nonetheless, it was fun working with R. and En. and Em. over the weekend. I'll miss two of my co-workers now that they've made travelling/backpacking/official internship plans.

Till later!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Newsy byte and some progress in sending out pre-test questionnaires

Before I start updating my progress in sending out the pre-test questionnaires, I'll mention a little about the furore in Malaysia over the alleged abuse of Chinese woman who was detained by Malaysian police (the latest of many cases of young Chinese women being badly treated).

The abuse-scandal was splashed all over Malaysian papers after a politician was shown a secret cell phone video clip supposedly showing a young Chinese woman being asked to strip and do ear-burpees (see photo & caption on the right taken off web) by a woman police officer recently.

Malaysian police and immigration officers are accused of targeting Chinese women in the belief that many are involved in prostitution and vice activities.

It's unfortunate that tourists from China are subjected to unfair and possibly criminal treatment but it shows just how pervasive the perception of Chinese nationals engaging in vice is across the Causeway.

While it's politically incorrect to do so, coffee-shop-(and gossipy taxi/cab drivers'-) talk is rife about Chinese nationals who solicit in broad daylight not just in red light districts but also in 'respectable' residential areas.

If you recall, there was a series of much-talked about affairs of Chinese (female) nationals here sometime last year. Across the Causeway, things are no different.

It leaves a bad taste in the mouths of Chinese nationals who are going about their own very legitimate business of working/studying/travelling in various countries, I'm sure.

Anyway, back to the progress of my dissertation survey, I've sent it out to more people and asked some more colleagues to help me out.

Hopefully I can get the responses sent to my prof and the real survey can start.

An email from Dawn confirmed my suspicions -- that many bloggers (in Singapore, esp.) aren't willing to identify themselves because you just don't know who's reading your blog. And many people here aren't even willing to let their co-workers/supes /organisations know they are blogging.

This is nothing new, we've grown up respecting authority and even in the privacy of our online diaries -- pass-word-protected or otherwise -- we are not willing to identify ourselves.

I'll write more about issues concerning privacy on employee blogs tomorrow.

How I came to attempt this thesis topic

Before I start, am glad to say that my pre-test questionnaire is up, so please help me fill it in:


The final survey will be modified based on your feedback and suggestions -- hopefully I can get enough responses in this phase (I need 5-10) to be able to push ahead with the final survey.

And a big Thank You to Pammy, Yanling, Dawn for agreeing to help me post a link and fill in the survey:-)

I couldn't update this blog as promised the day before because the snores took over and I just had to catch up on some sleep -- by the time I got up, it was time to get to work!

Anyway, my initial theis proposal had little to do with employee blogging -- it was on blogging and the virtual community.

But after fumbling about and not being able to any leads, as well as several sets of email tennis and face-to-face meetings with my prof, I decided on this present thesis.

In Singapore, there is little (or some/most will say there is no) freedom of speech. Make that a bigger pain in the ass by taking a couple of really irresponsible so-called bloggers who publish their bigoted views and this is what you get.

After searching through a database of articles on blogging activities in Singapore, the urge to do this topic became stronger and so I wrote to my prof, came up with a list of survey questions and we decided that I should go ahead.

I haven't worked overseas but over here, most organisations have a top-down corporate culture. Which is perhaps why most bloggers think twice about revealing their identities on their blogs -- there is always an element of 'what if (my boss/co-workers/etc)' find out that I'm writing about them/work-related matters.

There have been no reports of anyone being dooced yet, and I hope that won't happen but ...you never know.

Will update later in the day....

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Newsy news snippets

Am going to be at work till 12.30am - yes, it's been a looooong day/night. I'm physically here at my work station but my mind is on that pre-test survey, I hope it gets cleared by my prof soon so that I can send it to a select audience soon.

Here are some news snippets/necessary distractions that caught my eye today:

Florida teacher pleads guilty to sex with student, 14
TAMPA (Florida) - A female teacher (yep, that's her on the right, picture was taken off the web) pleaded guilty on Tuesday to having sex with a 14-year-old student, avoiding prison as part of a plea agreement.

Debra Lafave, 25, whose sensational case made tabloid headlines, will serve three years of house arrest and seven years' probation. She pleaded guilty to two counts of lewd and lascivious battery.

-- whatever was she thinking?!

Enough of salacious news, I'll stop here for tonight. More on why I chose employee blogs as a dissertation topic tomorrow.

Pre-test questionnaire launched

As you can see, I've been code-happy for the better part of this morning.

Added: 1) Links to Corporate Blogging Policies
2) A tag-board (message me, quik!)
3) Site-meter counter to keep track of visitors

After my prof vets the online survey, I'll send my pre-test questionnaire link to my test audience: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=480441548245

Let's hope there are not too many changes and that I'll get valuable feeback.

Do you know of anyone who has incurred the wrath of co-workers/bosses for writing about work on their blogs? Share your story on the comment box, I'll be really grateful!

It needn't be anything as dramatic as being dooced, and you needn't have been grounded.

Would be great to hear your side of the story:-)

Ready to go -- soon

Ok, I've just got an e-mail from my prof that the pre-test questionnaire is rdy. I'll post it on surveymonkey.com by tonight. Will update soon.

Pre-test Employee Blog Survey

I've just completed my first draft of the Employee blog questionnaire.

After much to-ing and fro-ing, it's being vetted by my prof. Let's hope I can get started soon!