David the Wannabepriest has written about his experience blogging from within one of the National Church Institutions:
The staff handbook was silent on the matter. So I cc’d an email to certain overseers who I thought might be best to ask. They responded by asking me ‘what’s a blog?’. So I explained blogging to them and then it all went silent for a week or two until an announcement was made via the internal weekly ‘All Staff’ web page. The announcement made it clear that any member of staff who blogged about their work or the Church would be considered to be in breach of contract in just the same way as if they had spoken without authorization to a member of the press. The announcement went on to say that there were some staff members who blogged as part of their job (like national youth officers and the like) which was fine, but if that wasn’t you… keep your grubby little fingers off your keyboards (I’m paraphrasing at this point of course).
In some ways I can understand why they issued the ‘no blogging’ decree, as the wrong information being leaked in the wrong way can cause a lot of damage. But then again perhaps the Church would do well to follow the example of companies like Microsoft or IBM who have guidelines for their blogging employees. My own feeling is that the church has more to gain by allowing its employees to blog than it has to lose.
David is now, as his title suggests, training to be a priest. He goes on to write some very good advice for both new ordinands and ‘the powers that be’ on how everyone can learn to blog and be blogged happily.
As an aside, this post has been lurking on my computer for quite a few days now. I had originally written quite a bit more about the circumstances that caused me to send David my original e-mail, but have decided that what I was going to write is best left unsaid. I think in this case the advice to ‘save it as draft and sleep on it before you go ahead and publish’ was worth heeding.
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