EFF has posted a short paper on how to blog without getting fired, breaking it down roughly into (1) blog pseudonymously, (2) limit your audience and (3) know your (lack of) legal rights.
It’s unfortunate that (4) come to a reasonable agreement with management about what’s acceptable wasn’t even in the running. That’s a tricky negotiation though, both because once you broach the subject it’s much harder to go back to being anonymous and because your management might feel OK about looking the other way but when pressed might feel the need to say no rather than yes. And when it comes to protecting themselves from upper management or angry stockholders should your blog embarrass the company, they’re probably right.
I’m of two minds when it comes to pseudonymous writing. On the one hand, I still want more choice of soft walls when it comes to managing what I write. Mailing lists and things like LiveJournal‘s friends lists are good starts, but what I really want is a publish-this-to-everyone-except-those-who-would-get-me-in-trouble-for-what-I-wrote button. But on the other hand, I can’t help but see such a button as a kind of cowardly way out. Maybe it just stirs some deep emotion implanted during half-listened to high-school discussions of Thoreau, but isn’t the measure of a writer, at least in some small way, just how much trouble his writing gets him into?