You won’t be surprised to hear that I think it pays for companies to encourage
their employees to blog, and to be as open as possible. But don’t take my word
for it. Instead, take the word of Rohit Aggarwal, Ram Gopal, and Ramesh Sankaranarayanan,
all of the University of Connecticut, who have just published a 37-page paper
on the subject, entitled "Negative
Blogs, Positive Outcomes: When Should Firms Permit Employees to Blog Honestly".
I’ll let Chris Dillow sum
up the upside of negative posts:
Such postings attract more attention and page views than bland pro-company
posts, which means that subsequent, positive posts get more attention. What’s
more, because the employee is free to post bad things, these positive posts
are more credible.
The paper does get extremely technical, and I’m not remotely qualified to judge
the methodology, which includes things like this:
An empirical model is developed to account for the inherent non-linearities,
endogeneity and unobserved heterogeneity concerns, and potential alternative
But if anybody at Condé Nast ever complains about me criticising the
mothership (and to their credit, they never have), I’m going to point them right
And while I’m on the subject of transparency, many congratulations to Andrew
Leonard, who writes the excellent How
The World Works blog for Salon: as of today, he has a full
RSS feed! There’s now no reason at all not to subscribe to his blog: go
and do it, now.