Todd Biske asks a good question about corporate blogging: how do you build sufficient trust to allow for corporate blogging? 

It’s a good read.  Working for a technology company that is very large allows me a level of freedom not seen by my typical peer.  It is one reason I love working for Microsoft.  Innovation has a place here.

Not every Enterprise Architect can write a blog.  As an EA, I know a lot about company policy, strategy, and direction.  I tell none of that to folks outside the company.  On the other hand, most of the other folks who know the same information do not have a blog: Directors, General Managers, etc.  In most companies, having someone know what I know, and still trusting them not to spill the beans in a blog, requires a level of trust that would be difficult to reconcile.  Microsoft has trusted me and I take that trust seriously.

On the other hand, it is useful to be very open about Enterprise Architecture in general.  I want to improve the craft of Enterprise Architecture through sharing and discussing good ideas.  I want to nudge our industry in particular directions through tools, techniques, and good ideas. I can do a lot of that through working with my friends and collegues inside the amazing Microsoft machine.  On the other hand, I find it valuable to water down the Microsoft kool-aid by taking advice, sharing ideas, and being generally collaborative with folks who work on other platforms and share other concerns.

It’s a fine line.  Many companies are not comfortable allowing their practitioners to walk it. I can do nothing about that except to provide a counterpoint: EAs can be trusted to share without screwing up.  I hope it helps.

By Nick Malik

Former CIO and present Strategic Architect, Nick Malik is a Seattle based business and technology advisor with over 30 years of professional experience in management, systems, and technology. He is the co-author of the influential paper "Perspectives on Enterprise Architecture" with Dr. Brian Cameron that effectively defined modern Enterprise Architecture practices, and he is frequent speaker at public gatherings on Enterprise Architecture and related topics. He coauthored a book on Visual Storytelling with Martin Sykes and Mark West titled "Stories That Move Mountains".

One thought on “Should corporate bloggers go "internal only?"”
  1. I cannot begin to explain how much value there has been for me from all the Microsoft blogs. In many cases, a Microsoft blog entry is the only source of information I have found that enables me to solve a problem or understand an issue.

    I have always found great value in learning about SOA from your blog and from the sources your blog cites; and I am grateful not only for the opportunity to talk with you but also for the time you have invested in responses to me across various topics.

    The Microsoft blogs are one of my best resources for information and discussion. I sincerely hope you are never required to restrict the blogs to internal communication only.

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