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January 20, 2005

Woolamaloo Gazette

Joe Gordon, author of the blog "Woolamaloo Gazette", has been fired by Waterstone's for ostensibly "bringing the company into disrepute" through several of his posts (via hungbunny).

Mr Gordon, a senior bookseller who rarely mentioned work in his blog and did not directly identify his branch of Waterstone's, said he had offered to stop posting anything about his working life online when the company called a disciplinary meeting. According to his union, Waterstone's rejected his plea despite it not having any guidelines on whether its employees are allowed to keep weblogs.

"This wasn't a sustained attack," Mr Gordon told the Guardian. "I was not deliberately trying to harm the company. I was venting my spleen. This was moaning about not getting your birthday off or not getting on with your boss. I wasn't libelling anyone or giving away trade secrets."

Since when did Amazon buy Waterstone's? Or am I missing something about that interface? And if Amazon owns Waterstone's, and Waterstone's is firing bloggers, what effect might this have on uberblogger plugs for Amazon goods and services? (Or my own Amazon wish list.)

Posted by Ghost of a flea at January 20, 2005 05:35 AM

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Not that I'm a lawyer, butI imagine he'd have a pretty decent wrongful dismissal case lined up, if he's not in violation of any specific company policy.

I have generally written very favourably about my own workplace, and I do enjoy working there. I do take pains to shield it in some minimal way by not making it immediately identifiable and not posting pictures of any building exteriors.

I suppose there's a chance anybody can get nailed and canned for blogging, but to me it seems like a remote possibility at best. Don't identify the company visually or textually, so that you don't tamper with their branding, don't spill confidential information, and don't slag your colleagues or your boss. That should be insulation enough for most of us.

Posted by: Chris Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 20, 2005 10:35 AM