Thursday, March 6, 2008

And now, the story can NOT be told...

You're tired of me whining about the pitfalls of employee blogging, I know. If it gets too thick for you, just skip this article.

I won't break my employment agreement. It prevents disclosure of company trade-secrets and proprietary information. But is it a gray area when publicly available information comes to me through proprietary means? For example, several months ago Ancestry started selling DNA test kits to the general public though the website indicated DNA-Ancestry was still in beta. I was one of the lucky employees invited to participate in the test for free.

Several participants outside the company wrote about their experience. I had a very positive experience and wished to write about it also. Ancestry had yet to announce their entry into the DNA space, so it was hot news.

I felt I could write about the experience, regardless of my employment status, had I gone to the website while at home on my own computer, on my own time and on my own dime. That would place me on equal footing with outside participants.

But my participation was entirely connected to my employment. I felt like I had to get a release before I could benefit Ancestry with my glowing review. Our PR director had no previous employee blogging policy to work from. He ultimately decided to treat me as any other outside writer. And he reminded me of my obligations to the company. Ironically, in that situation his decision left me at a disadvantage compared to outside writers.

I never have purchased a DNA Ancestry Test Kit. And I've never been comp'ed a reviewer's copy. So to this day, that glowing review has never been published. My revenge is thinking that some days my blog outperforms Ancestry's. He, he, he.


  1. You are Ancestry - but you always outperform yourself.

  2. Dear anonymous,

    I'm also more handsome than I appear.

    -- The Insider


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