Fired for blogging

A post from a Friendster employee who got fired for blogging. Ross Mayfield follows up with some good notes.

This was an interesting situation. The posts that caused the firing seemed pretty harmless to me. A few notes switching platforms (from JSP to PHP). The thread generated was pretty interesting. Sure there was a lot of political trash talk happening in the thread (“JSP sucks!” “Open Source rules!”). The thread caught the attention of Jon Udel which contributed to a story of his about scalability myths

…In the end, scalability isn’t an inherent property of programming languages, application servers, or even databases. It arises from the artful combination of ingredients into an effective solution.

I think that the original discussion that resulted from the Friendster employee were great. It generated some good conversation and was no doubt a learning experience for many. Not sure how much of it was actually useful for Friendster. But it may have been useful for a lot of other developers trying to decide between Java and PHP.

How do you legislate an appropriate line for employees about what’s safe to blog about and what’s not? Sure, it’s easy to say non public information can’t be posted by employees. But any corporate legal department could call virtually everything that happens inside a corporation non pubic. The late 90’s saw a trend of the ultra secret startups. There were firms that wouldn’t tell you want they were doing until you actually joined the company. Unbelievable with yours truly getting caught up in the nonsense. It would be cool of we saw the pendulum swing the other way. I think companies would gain more from sharing information than hoarding it. It’ll be interesting to watch what happens over the next several years.