Are these really blogs or not?
Steve Jones, my friend over at SQLServerCentral.com had a podcast the other day (Voice of the DBA) where he commented that blogs should be blogs - not a form of corporate communication. I agree. It's not that you can't have corporate content on an RSS feed, just call it out if that's what it is.
So do the Microsoft entries qualify as "blogs" or "corporate communications"? I guess the answer is "both".
First, we aren't edited as to what we say. No one checks up on my blogs, and no one tells me what I can and can't say. Of course, that means I'm responsible for the content. If I say something offensive, rude or illegal, I'll hear about it and I'm sure my blog would be edited. That just makes sense. So in that context, my editoral statements (like this one), comments, opinions and so on are blog entries. They are the sometimes useful/mildly interesting/funny/whatever ramblings out of my head, based on my experiences here and my 20+ years of tech experience elsewhere.
But some of the entries don't really fit the "blog" moinker. For instance, I sprinkle in entries about the Reports in Management Studio, I explain how to use SSMS better, and so on. This kind of instructional content is a little more "corporate", but there's a good reason I do it.
We have a LOT of content on our products here at Microsoft. TechNet, Books Online, technical articles, white papers and more number into the hundreds of thousands of pages (that's right, over 100,000) of information about SQL Server alone. Books Online is over 63,000 pages! That's why we don't print it any more. And that doesn't count any of the non-Microsoft content.
So the Program Managers who are in charge of an area are encouraged to talk even more about their product. Not everything in the product makes it in to the documentation, for lots of reasons. No, we're not hiding anything, it's just that some things never face the public, or perhaps we don't know exactly how a feature is being used until you tell us or we see you doing it in the field studies. So when we find out you are using SSMS in a certain way, for instance, we'll probably blog it and then document it.
So is this a blog? Yes. Is it corporate communications? Yes. Does it get reviewed by someone? No. Am I responsible for whatever I say? Yup.
How about you? Do you blog? Are you allowed to? Could you say things about your company in your blog, like we do?