When company bloggers move, what about their blogs?

When company bloggers move, what about their blogs? While I’m not trying to mash two things together and call them a trend, I’ve just noticed (via: Folio:’s Dylan Stableford) that Constantine von Hoffman, ex-senior writer with the IDG’s recently-shuttered CMO and blogger for its award-winning Collateral Damage blog, was encouraged me to keep writing CD if he wanted to. “As of now I’ve been allowed to keep the CD name as a good will move and they are keeping the CD back content,” said von Hoffman. The blog will continue as a separate entity from his new job at BrandWeek (if I’m following the story correctly). This is somewhat similar to Steve Rubel’s announcement yesterday that despite his changing firms, he’ll be able to continue blogging using the same “Micropersuasion” name which had become also the name of the “word of mouth” marketing practice of his previous employer.

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  • Easton Ellsworth

    Rex, this is an interesting question. I would guess that some companies would keep the blog content archived and simply display a notice that the employee no longer blogs there – perhaps with a link to whatever new blog he or she might have.

    On the other hand, that raises the question of whether it’s okay for companies to make money off of content written by ex-employees. I guess the answer would just depend on whatever contracts the company and the blogger had signed originally.

    It’s definitely an interesting subject and one to keep our eyes on as the number of corporate blogs increases.

  • Shawn Lea

    I raised that question in a comment on Steve’s blog a while back, when he originally started marketing Micropersuasion through CooperKatz. My point was that before that change I didn’t even know he worked for CooperKatz, I just knew he worked in the PR field. (And I think you introduced me, by the way.)

    So another interesting question would be how are they going to market their Web and blogging services now, since they were using Micropersuasion before. They were in a bit deeper than even a blog’s name.

    In Steve’s case, as I recall, he had used Micropersuasion before he was blogging officially as a company blogger. When his popularity as an individual blogger took off, it seemed they decided to ride on his coattails. (Disclaimer: I know nothing about this in real life and am just giving a run-down on my perception.)

    And if you’re shuttering a blog, why not let someone keep the name? The real fight will be when a company outright owns a blog and its name, a blogging employee becomes very popular and decides to leave – and takes the name recognition with him (not necessarily the blog name).

    But, in my mind, it’s not really much different from writing a popular column for the New York Times or big magazine. When you leave, you take your name with you. They keep the column, you keep your name. (And if you’ve done a good job while there, that should be more than enough.)