Work-related blogs - "the truth of what's happening" on the ground

Most people who blog about their work are likely to feel just a little jealous of the amount of media attention recently afforded to Tom Reynold's Random Acts of Reality blog.

For instance, not only has he recently seen many of his blog-based writings appear in a well-received book, he has been cropping up on a range of high-profile web-sites such as at the BBC. He'll also been on the radio soon talking about his blog.

Indeed, Tom Reynolds gets another high-profile outing today in The Guardian's Society section.

In The state of emergencies (Mary O'Hara) talks about his work and his blog. In particular he elaborates on why he believes his blog to be so popular. A quote from the article explains his ideas in more detail:

...Reynolds says, his blog, and possibly other public sector blogs, can and do get to the "truth of what's happening" on the ground. They cut through the "nonsense" of TV dramas and "official" accounts of the NHS that politicians or NHS press officers present. "With more NHS staff blogging, more people will know what it is really like ... and more people will get angry about the things that people should get angry about."

I couldn't agree with him more and have been saying for quite some time that the main value of work-related blogs is how they offer a unique view of modern work.

Perhaps that's why companies such as RepuTrace, mentioned in a recent posting, and this company here, have emerged in last year to help big businesses fightback against people who speak their minds.

Let's hope even more work-related blogs keep emerging and in the next year or two the experiences of a greater range of workers are put into print and given the attention they deserve.


Joseph said...


I think what we are witnessing is the advent of conversation evolving from work environments, and blogs being the vehicle of choice for working individuals to establish and build personal brand identity.

Conversations, and viewpoints being shared by experts working within certain industries and business sectors, and their "down-to-earth" views on various topics are what the blogging audience appreciates most.

The trick will be for businesses to allow workplace blogging, and to set conditions on what can be discussed publicly without sanitizing or overly-censoring that contributors discussion.

My advice here is to check any/all policies before taking any workplace discussion to the blogosphere.

Although my opinion is that there is a place for workplace blogging, some businesses might not be as welcoming to the idea.

More specifically, this notion that a certain individual working within the corporate shell now has the ability to overtake the mother ships own brands from a popularity standpoint, and with it, all the concerns surrounding "personal brands" establishing themselves, and gaining the most momentum within the corporate structure, especially if that individual decides to go on his/her own, is a cause for some concern.

One might argue that its appeal is most pronounced by this "blogging within the establishment" aspect, and that once the individual goes on their own, the tendency is for the conversation to be reduced to a quiet glimmer.

A fightback approach isn't always the answer either -- as some companies have benefitted enormously by allowing their own people to carry the evangelical message into the blogosphere. Its even allowed many companies to make refinements and adjustments to their businesses because of the anount of feedback (whether that be positive or negative) that was generated from those discussions.

Anyway you look at it, it is certainly an interesting development, and one worth watching as it continues to take shape and form.

James said...

Thanks for the comments Joseph. I don't disagree with you in any shape or form.

However, I think we see these blogs through different lenses.

I see such blogs as offering an account of a working life and not about promoting the business, etc.

As someone who has conducted a range of covert ethnographies of front-line work and in the process keeping a daily journal for more than a year, I value the effort of these kind of bloggers.