Ministry of Propaganda

Ministry of Propaganda - 02/Jan/2006: "Blogging About Intel"

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Blogging About Intel

The last few days quite a few blogs have been commenting on the new Intel logo and the 'Leap ahead' tagline. Working for Intel myself has left me wondering if and how I should or even can blog about it. While I don't make a secret of who I work for, my employer and my work has hardly received any mention in this blog so far. I'll use this entry to try to write down some of my thoughts about the topic and the perils of moving in the blogosphere while working for a large company.

Before I start I want to point out that these are my thoughts/opinions and mine alone and I don't represent Intel or Intel's position in any way. For official statements go to Intel PR.

While Intel doesn't have a dedicated blogging policy (yet) there are a number of other policies which directly or indirectly apply to blogging as well. A number of Intel bloggers have discussed possible guidelines/policies internally (it's no secret that Intel has internal blogs, ranging from Paul Otellini's blog to a lot of 'normal' bloggers) and some have also taken their thoughts externally, e.g. Josh Bancroft or also Jack. This has created some interest externally, e.g. at BusinessWeek or at BlogWrite for CEOs.

Considering the discussion mentioned above and expanding on it, what does all this mean for me and how do I deal with it?

Can I and would I want to blog about my work? My current job mainly focuses on reporting, data and business management. I see a lot of numbers and know very well how at least part of the business and/or product transitions are going. Would I blog about that? I think the answer is fairly obvious: No. That's confidential information, I wouldn't even think about mentioning that to anyone outside of Intel. How about other experiences or anecdotes from work? Mostly unlikely. Why? Respect for others. I believe writing about co-workers (regardless if I mention their name or not) is just not right. If I have a problem with someone I should discuss it with them and not write about it in a public blog. Mentioning anything about Intel's customers as far as I deal with them is another obvious no-no. That doesn't leave that much to blog about from that perspective.

So how about products, the industry or even the competition? Well, first of all I'm not an expert for our products. While I have a quite good idea of the products and the roadmap it's not something I would blog about. I could write a little bit about some products but I don't think it would feel genuine. Then confidentiality comes into play again, I obviously wouldn't blog or comment about products and/or roadmaps not yet made public. This makes it quite interesting sometimes when I read rumours in blogs (or even news media) which I know to be wrong (or occasionally to be right), I really have to bite my tongue and censor myself sometimes. Then the industry or even the competition. Again I have a good idea about the market but don't think I could contribute that much worthwhile. Commenting about the competition isn't something I would be comfortable with either, so I refrain from it. Here also the problem of being associated with the company despite pointing out that my blog only contains my personal opinion comes into play. Someone could turn my personal comment into something 'Intel says', something I wouldn't be happy with (and most likely neither would be Intel). These are risks I'm not prepared to take. Others might be, I'm not (for now). As Stephen Baker points out in BusinessWeek: Fortunately for Intel, bloggers there appear to be far more interested in their jobs and their company than in creating a stir.

In summary, you won't be reading much more blogging about Intel and my job here in the future than you do now. I think Intel should try to open to the blogosphere somehow, but it will still take a while and require a lot of work and discussion on how to do it. I'm aware of approx 10-15 other Intel employees running an external blog, may be one of them will be Intel's Scoble.

And finally despite of what I said above a few personal thoughts about the new logo and tagline. I've been with Intel for almost 11 years now, it's a little bit strange to see the old logos go after all those years. Especially because I've worked in the Intel Inside® Program for quite a while, managing the Intel Inside® Program Operations team in EMEA for a time, so for nostalgic reasons the old logo is quite close to my heart. But then Intel is undergoing some major changes at the moment and the logo, brand and marketing changes reflect these. To continue being successful change is necessary, if that means the old logos and brands have to go I'm all for it.

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