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The Business of Blogs

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            A blog is a relatively new concept, and is defined as “a publication of personal thoughts, experiences, and web links (Simplehostfinder.com).” A blog uses the Internet as its medium of reaching a potential audience of anyone in the whole world. the gaining popularity of blogs increases the readability of blogs.

            Blogs can influence several aspects of the communication process (Foulger). Based on the 1948 Shannon’s model of the communication process, the communication process undergoes eight distinct components (Foulger). From these, blogs can influence the following components: message, transmitter, carrier, receiver, and destination.

            Though communication models have been formulated many years ago, they are still applicable to modern media such as blogs. The essential principles remain the same – there is a message, the originator of the message, the medium used to transmit the message, and the recipient of the message.

            In typical grapevine fashion, employees could propagate gossip about fellow employees or even corporate secrets through their blogs. However, blogs expose a company to more risk than traditional gossip because of the possible worldwide readership of blogs. The nature of blogs also limits the degree of control that can be exercised by employers on the posts of their employees, as blogs can be made anonymously, and they are posted on hosts that provide the service for free. Therefore, companies are left with disciplining, controlling, or preventing their employees from posting anything derogatory on their blogs.

            The issue of the right of employers to dismiss employees who blog negatively against the company can be debated endlessly. There are too many considerations to take into account, such as the right of employees to speak freely about their thoughts. On the other hand, a company also has an interest at keeping its reputation intact. There are thus two conflicting interests that must be considered. The solution to this is  a clear company policy about blogging. The company can prohibit its employees from posting discriminatory information on their blogs, provided that the company provides a grievance machinery to deal with the complaints of employees.

            Blogs are known to be effective marketing tools. The monitoring of blogs cannot be said to be invasion of privacy, because authors of blogs knowingly and voluntarily post their entries therein with full knowledge of the possibility that the whole world can read their contents.

Works Cited

Foulger, Davis. “Models of the Communication Process.” 25 Feb. 2004. 3 Oct. 2007             <http://foulger.info/davis/research/unifiedModelOfCommunication.htm>.

Simplehostfinder.com. “Web Hosting Glossary of Terms.” 3 Oct. 2007             <http://www.simplehostfinder.com/glossary.html>.

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