Cisco got in trouble over a blog by one of its employees–legal trouble of course. I agree with the Economist who consistently laughs at our litigious system and the high cost we all pay for the abuse of it. I say that without intending any comment on the merits of the case against the Cisco blogger.
Blogging by employees has become part and parcel of the business scene–and a tremendous impetus toward transparency. But, there are risks and dangers. And while Scoble and other leaders of corporate blogging argued for minimal guidance and control by corporate leaders, it seems our litigious society will not allow that to happen for long. I suspect this case and the thousands of others soon to follow will drastically change corporate blogging–much to the loss of all of us.
Our legal system, after all, completely discourages organizations from saying “they’re sorry” when they screwed up. I just heard from a friend about the sad story of his mother who fell off an x-ray table in a hospital as she was dying of cancer. A hospital staff person who turned his back on her and she fell off the X-ray table–seriously contributing to her decline and destroying what little quality of life she had left. Rather than saying “we’re sorry” and explaining in detail what happened which would have satisfied my friend, they instead refused to provide him any records or information about the incident, refused to accept responsibility and refused to discuss it with him. Just following legal advice, no doubt. But because of this excellent advice, he is now considering taking action–all avoidable by saying you’re sorry.
What this has to do with blogging, I’m not sure–oh yeah, stupid lawsuits.