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Law firms can learn from history of blogging at Microsoft

Microsoft developer, Korby Parnell, has a nice post on the 2 to 3 year history of corporate blogging at Microsoft. Law firms could pick up a few lessons.

In the beginning, back in 2002 and 2003, no formal code of blogging conduct existed for Microsoft bloggers. There were few, if any, other companies that allowed its employees to blog. To top it all off, Microsoft has traditionally been a very tight-lipped company in the area of public relations. To this day, all executives receive special PR training upon joining the corporate ranks. It was the wild west. I don’t think our legal department or public relations firm (WaggEd) had any idea what we were doing on blogs.gotdotnet.com or of how big and important a force we would soon become.

After blogging for a bit, Korby then drifted into an area of posting about personal experiences, political commentary and things that could reflect poorly on the company. After being called on the carpet, he was concerned there would be no more company bloggers. So he drafted some corporate blogging guidelines, later revised by legal.

By late 2004, individual blogs at Microsoft were drawing 5,0000 to 7,000 unique visitors a day Microsoft managers came to the conclusion that the blogs had become an invaluable corporate asset. A few of them had even started blogging themselves. The company has now invested significant time and money into developing a better blog software platform.

Most important to note for law firms, blogs improve employee satisfaction.

Trust is the root of all goodness. As a Microsoft employee, I have always regarded my ability to blog in public as a supreme privilege. The fact that I was allowed to blog in 2002 and am encouraged to blog in 2005 by my managers is a clear indication that Microsoft thinks of and treats its employees as partners, not peons. Individual employees can make a positive difference and the relative success of corporate blogging efforts like Microsoft’s prooves it.

Give it some thought. Your law firm has a lot to gain.

Source of post: Alex Barnett

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