The Beginning? #1, aka I don't mean anything personal by this

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/04/27 23:01 -04:00, original URI:

Apologies for the metablog post, though you knew something like this was coming. Feel free to skip it if you would prefer...

I am going to stop calling this a personal Blog.

As of the very blog you are reading right now.

In the end, it is simply an unavoidable reality.

You may have noticed (if you are the sort to scroll all the way down) the text at the bottom of every page, that looks like this:

© 2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Terms of Use  |  Trademarks  |  Privacy Statement

We'll momentarily ignore how silly this looks in blogs from 2004-2007, of course.

And well also momentarily ignore that they are ignoring rule #14 in Cory Doctorow's 17 Tips For Getting Bloggers To Write About You:

Enough with the legal boilerplate. If your every page on your site ends with "(c) 2008 Paranoid Co Inc, all rights reserved. No part of this site may be reproduced without permission," then bloggers may just take you at your word and write about someone else's site. You don't need this kind of language -- your stuff is copyrighted the second you type it out, in every country that's signed the Berne Convention (that includes the US). Your overzealous lawyer is scaring away the bloggers who'll tell the world about your stuff.

because it is Microsoft's business if they want to insert their own copyrightness.

BUT you see you must be a full-time employee of Microsoft to be the owner of a blog on this site, and if Microsoft the company wants to be clear ab out themselves as the copyright holders of the content then I am not going to argue the semantics of whether or not it is a "personal Blog", since Microsoft is asserting ownership of the words.

Most of the content relates to the work I do either directly or indirectly, so no matter what I or anyone else says, it is a work blog, by and large.

The only distinction I will make is that:

My work is not exactly identical to my job

so if my management doesn't review blog entries before they are published (they don't) and they want to say (they do) that my words don't represent official Microsoft policy (they don't) then that is okay -- because me blogging about my work is not the same as me blogging as a core and central part of my job.

As luck would have it, I love my work.

And I love the part of my job that involves helping people all over the company when they have questions -- note that I generally can't really blog about any of it unless I extract the non-public details of the questions, though I'll make the effort to do so if the question is one that I think might be of general interest.

And I am willing at least to tolerate the part of my job that involves these people who are so non-supportive of the blog that they instructed me to remove the Blog from my business cards since it is a "personal blog". I won't go so far as to claim respect, but tolerance covers how I feel about that kind of thing. :-)

Given the text of this blog, it is in the end in no way ironic that Microsoft has decided to assert its rights as a copyright holder of the text asserting that (in essence) Microsoft has no interest in what is said here. Since inconsistency among people who dictate policy is hardly unheard of in large corporations, and therefore it is in no way unexpected.

And thus it is not ironic.

Anyone who doesn't like this is invited to bite me at their earliest convenience....

Part 2 will be coming some time next week, and will get a bit more technical than this part has been.


Every scalar value in UCS-4 is an equal co-sponsor of this post, and they invite detractors to bite them, as well!

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