Meta-Blogging 14: Blogging At Work
Alright, let's get trickier. If Teresa Nielsen-Hayden's work on Making Light is enabled by her salary at Tor publishing, and if she sometimes writes about what kinds of standards prevail in her place of work, and if sometimes the timestamp on her posts indicates that she was probably at work, maybe using office machines, while writing her post, what version of independence obtains?
These questions are not merely philosophical. Conservatives in particular are scratching their heads to define "sponsorship" for bloggers under campaign finance reform law, and Erick at RedState attempts to prove that under current law, more than one hour per week spent blogging at work hours will constitute either sponsored speech or just cause for termination. His reasoning picks up an ongoing conversation, so the post isn't entirely self-evident. Still, the overall gist is ominous to opiners who earn their living.
Hell, we've seen this before. The well-reputed SF-Fantasy resource at Waterstone's being fired--"sacked"--for his blogging on company time, about the company, the conservative demand for political ads to be pulled from Kos's site after his comments about the deaths in Fallujah. Well, it's starting to get codified, gradually.
Brave New Blogosphere? We'll see about that.
[UPDATE: This post seems to attract more than the usual number of hits--is it Teresa's replies below?--so I figure it appropriate to post the EFF's faq on your legal liabilities if you blog at work. If any of you would like to tell me how you ended up here, since Technorati's being of no use, I'd be curious...]