Blogging from the train


I LOVE riding the train to work downtown! It’s a bit faster than driving with none of the hassle or stress, saves gas (& wear & tear on my car) and is cheaper than paying for parking downtown. Only thing that isn’t great about it? The free WiFi is spotty many days, and for most of the ride my cell phone doesn’t get any signal at all. Hence, trying to connect to the Internet to get any work done is unlikely.

What to do? Well, I certainly PREACH that blogging is a great thing to do if you can find the time to do it consistently. So, I’m going to take the 34 minutes of my train commute and turn it into a blog each day. I downloaded a Posterous app for my Android phone, Superious, and will not only try to blog but will mobile blog daily.

What to do with the other 34 minutes? Anyone got a suggestion for the best book or offline method for teaching oneself Ruby on Rails?

Any suggestions for an experienced social media innovator just getting started in daily blogging? Appreciate all feedback and recommendations. If you have a question or topic you’d like my perspective on, please let me know! As a former radio deejay, I love special requests. =)


— RG =)

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Social media policies still controversial

I was asked to comment yesterday on the controversy surrounding the updated employee policies for Williamson County, Texas, regarding personal use of social media that would require a disclosure if the employee discusses any county issues or business.

Ricardo Guerrero - Social Media Dynamo, on News 8 Austin Williamson County institutes social media policy for employees

I find it interesting and, frankly, odd that such a stink would be raised by a policy that helps protect employees from misunderstandings. Then again, I’ve been in the corporate world for many years now.

When I worked at Dell, it was made very clear to all employees that we represented Dell at all times, whether we were at work or not, “on the clock” or off. Without being asked, I put in the disclaimer that “opinions expressed are my own and not my employer’s.” While I knew this would not protect me if I expressed any truly vile opinions, whether they be about my employer or about any other topic, I figured it best to make it very clear that nothing I was saying was to be taken as speaking on behalf of my employer.

I believed then and I continue to believe that this does help protect the employee. What I was getting at in the above snippet within the TV news story was that it is a rather tenuous protection because sometimes it may not be obvious to oneself when one is “crossing the line” in stating an opinion. Sometimes it isn’t even about the opinion itself but about the way one may choose to express that opinion, if it is done in a disrespectful or hurtful way.

In the end, the best advice I’ve heard on this topic is this: “Don’t say anything your mother wouldn’t feel proud reading you said in the newspaper.” Others have stated this as not saying anything you wouldn’t say to your mother, but I find that I don’t talk to my mother about things I talk to other people about in public. Another expression (also from a 2009 BusinessWeek article) is simply “Don’t be stupid.” Unfortunately, common sense is sometimes anything but common, and a guideline that is easier to interpret than that seems necessary to me.

Hence, I assume public speech that will get back to my mother and my test of my words is to ask: will my mother be proud of me or will she be disappointed or upset at me for having said this? If it’s the latter, I probably shouldn’t say it… or at least not publicly!

(Thanks for the catch, on saying William County in the first paragraph, Dave Evans! corrected to Williamson County now. =)

Posted in Governance Issues | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments