"Since Google blogger Mark Jen got the ax there's been a lot of talk about whether or not the move was fair on Google's part.
Naturally this leads in to the bigger issue of whether or not employers have the right to lay down policies outlining acceptable blogging behavior (or, to put it more bluntly - censor their employees).
Among all the buzz (i.e., articles cobbled together from what little we've heard from Jen) comes this dose of common sense from Techdirt. The post takes a step back, removing the method of delivery (blogging) from of the equation and focusing on the content (what Jen actually said).
We agree that Jen was fired for what he was saying, not how he was saying it. What he was saying was negative stuff about his employer that included bagging on his compensation (big no no), disclosing the details of his compensation (even bigger no no), and describing HR policies and procedures of a company notorious for its secrecy.
Is it any wonder he got fired? Are we taking crazy pills here? Anyone with the most rudimentary knowledge of office politics and acceptable standards of behavior knows this stuff.
And if Jen doesn't know, then why? Aren't Google employees supposed to be the cream of the crop? If he didn't realize that word gets around in the blogosphere, what's he doing as an Associate Product Manager, where one of the main tasks is, as Jen himself puts it, 'Coming up with new offerings that would revolutionize the way people use computers and the internet.' Hard to revolutionize with your head where the sun don't shine.
Bottom line: The cardinal rule of office politics hasn't changed - whether you're gossiping over cocktails with a coworker or blogging by yourself in your basement - what you say can (and will) come back to you."
Mark Jen - Technorati
Google - Technorati
Jeremy Zawodny's blog
Robert Scoble's blog
Google Fires Blogger? - Slashdot
Bloggercon III - IT Conversations
Scoble's Keynote MP3 - Blog Business Summit
On the Pod with Robert Scoble - G'Day World Podcast