Werner Vogels is the Chief Technology Officer of Amazon.com, but though he has a high-profile position, he complements his official statements with his own personal thoughts on his blog All Things Distributed. Because of the intelligent way that Werner’s All Things Distributed acts as a personal complement to his professional work, it’s a great choice as today’s Movable Type Featured Blog.
What do we mean? Well, a few Six Apart folks were at O’Reilly’s Emerging Technology Conference earlier this week, and we saw a great keynote presentation on Amazon’s web services platform. Now, we’re big believers in this kind of technology — that’s why we get so excited about things like Amazon’s TypePad widgets. But in addition to making great web services, we all have a human side to the things we write about on our blogs, even ones where the tagline claims to be a “weblog on building scalable and robust distributed systems.”
And that’s where the fantastic disclaimer at the bottom of Werner’s blog comes in. It reads, in part:
This is a personal weblog. That means that the opinions voiced here are purely personal and they do not in any way represent the opinions, experiences or directions of my employer Amazon.com. If you take any of the statements on this weblog and use it as an official statement by Amazon.com you are knowingly misleading your audience. For official statements by Amazon.com visit the Amazon.com Virtual Media Room.
If I do write something worth referencing, and you feel strongly about the need to reference my affiliation, you should also mention in your reference that this is my personal weblog: “Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon.com, mentions on his personal weblog that the Seahawks have a good shot at the Superbowl this year”.
If you can not play by these simple rules, please do not reference this weblog at all.
The truth of the matter is, we should be able to have personal blogs where we can speak freely without having to worry about them being a “gotcha” for the press or others to attribute our every thought as Official Corporate Policy. And while nobody can enforce a disclaimer like this one legally, it can be useful just to make the desire explicit. Best of all, getting the fine print out of the way means that we can all enjoy a chance to look inside the mind of one of the people who helps create the technology of one of the largest-scale sites on the web.
Have you found another example of someone creatively solving a problem with their blog? Submit the site and we’ll consider it as a Movable Type Featured Blog.