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This is less of an opinion post and more of a poll. Ever since I’ve started blogging there’s one thing that’s been bugging me — the # of things in my head that I CAN’T blog about because the information is either confidential or simply because it’s a business idea that I think my employer needs to pursue.

Obviously I CAN blog that “Ad Exchanges should do X,Y & Z”, but at what point do you cross the lines of your ‘intellectual property’ clause? I’m sure “exchanges should be open” is a totally fine statement to make, but “dynamic pricing is essential for an auction model” would probably be totally unacceptable were Right Media in the process of developing this new concept.

My limited google searches turned up very little on the topic except some legal advice that bloggers should follow the ‘corporate blog policy’, and blah blah blah. So realistically — for those of you that blog — am I alone in worrying about this? Has anybody ever heard of any troubles around private company information ending up on a blog? Best practices?

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  • Greg Yardley

    This drove me absolutely bats at my last job.

    There’s tons of cases where private company information’s ended up on a blog and it’s caused trouble. See, for instance, the controversy around Mark Jen at Google in January 2005.

  • Bob

    Mike, I just read this quote by an academic, and thought of your post.

    “You’ve heard our lead speakers about blog spam and search engine spam and that’s going to get more interesting, but here’s the thing. I put out the call, but I am not getting a lot of papers on search engine spam because, independently, companies think they have a profit in the solution,” Yerazunis said.

    “Think of this. If you were Google and you came up with a solution to solve search engine spam, would you publish it? It’s a race among the big three. If Microsoft has solved it, they are going to knock out Google. If Yahoo has it, they are going to knock Microsoft out. The stakes here are billions of dollars,” he said.