I am in Raleigh this week …

In case anybody cares. It’s been a little more than a month since I was last here — trip to Europe and then bicycle crash have kept me away from the mothership.

Southwest — the Greyhound of the skies — boned me by boarding me onto a flight from Providence to Baltimore that was predestined to miss its connection to Raleigh. I found myself wandering the halls of BWI looking for a hotel room but none were to be found. Southwest’s response to my predicament was a shrug and a little green slip with an 800 number on it. I called the 800 number and the person said, “Nope. No rooms around Baltimore.” So I kept at it, made friends with Matt at the Holiday Inn Express in nearby Arundel, buttered him up using the Jim Forbes technique of being nice to those most under siege, and finally snagged a last minute cancellation. In bed at 1 am and back up at 5 for the shuttle ride back to the airport. I paid $30 an hour for the mattress time and the shower.
Business travel utterly, absolutely, positively sucks. Wheeled luggage, headset borgs, USA Today, the aftershave stench of hazelnut flavored coffee … I feel horrible, as if I rushed back to work too soon, find that brain medications like Fioricet do not mix well with spreadsheets … whine, whine, whine.

Foldera Adds TechCrunch Editor and Web 2.0 Authority J. Michael Arrington to Board of Directors: Financial News – Yahoo! Finance

Foldera Adds TechCrunch Editor and Web 2.0 Authority J. Michael Arrington to Board of Directors: Financial News – Yahoo! Finance

Dang, I missed this one from the PR newswire on Friday: TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington joins Foldera’s board. Good stuff for Foldera — founder Richard Lusk is building an all-star team. This is the big week for the company — the beta goes public, Richard et al are in Boston at the CMP Collaboration conference — and me, I’m still waiting for my fricking beta invite (you’d think being on the advisory board would count for something … just kidding Richard, just kidding).

VentureBlog: Who Owns Scobleizer?

VentureBlog: Who Owns Scobleizer?
David Hornik asks the question of whether or not Microsoft got screwed when Scoble bailed for PodTech, taking with him their “intellectual property.” (and Scoble deftly tosses me under the bus by citing Hornik’s post in a post of his own titled “Who owns Churbuck’s blog?”)
Hornik cites one of those hysterical pieces of boiler plate that the attorneys sneak into the Human Resources Welcome Pack which essentially say “all your base belong to us” and anything you create, think of, ruminate over, or otherwise concoct during business hours is the property of the Man.

“Ever since Scoble left Microsoft, I’ve been thinking about the question of who owns Scobleizer. After all, didn’t Robert write Scobleizer during work hours, using Microsoft’s computers? In fact, wasn’t it Robert’s job at Microsoft to write Scobleizer? Didn’t Microsoft pay him thousands of dollars in salary, and thousands more in travel expenses, to represent Microsoft in the blogging world and to do so, at least in part, by writing Scobleizer?”

David raises a valid point. I am blogging on a piece of company property, (a nice one too, a sweet Lenovo x60s Thinkpad with EVDO wireless.(note the shameless advert))  Since I am presently 300 miles from the time card machine, (you know, the bird-punch model that Fred Flintstone used when he clocked it at the quarry) I guess I am blogging off the clock. Of course, one must understand I only work Monday through Friday from nine to five with a half-hour lunch break. I never work during non-work hours. I never check my email on weekends.

Sheesh,  I don’t blog at work. I have too much other stuff to get done and blogging for the company is not on my list of to-dos. I will, from time to time, mention my employer’s name, but not a lot, because I have no interest in going down in history as the “guy at XYZ corp. who blogs about customer service.” I’d prefer to be known as the guy who wrote a great book about technology standards, or that guy on Cape Cod who blogs about clamming. But, dreams of literary immortality aside, I am resigned to be just a guy who blogs because he misses being a full-time writer. I suffer from the malady caoecethes scribendi and this is my cure.
I do have a reasonably healthy obsession with my professional life — it keeps the wolf from the door after all — and our professional lives are — at least on a time basis — the bulk of our lives. But assigning ownership of a blog to one’s employer on the basis that the employer’s brand enhances the brand of the blogging employee? Or that the blogger used precious CPU cycles on a company machine?
It was always 100 percent clear to me during Scoble’s Microsoft tenure that his gig was at Channel 9 videotaping geeks and that Scobleizer was his and his alone. He blogged about whatever the heck he felt like, and if that turned out to be Microsoft …. well, sure, he’ll go down as the Microsoft blogger.

Bloggers are bylines. Nothing more. Bylines move around. If my employer were to say, “please don’t blog about us” then I’d never blog about them.  For now, Churbuck.com lives off of my employer’s servers, is managed by me, designed by me, the domain name is renewed and paid by me, and predates my relationship with my employer by about three years. So there.

Imagethief: brilliant summation of the Great Fire Wall issue

Imagethief is Will Moss. A PR pro in China. I like his blog a lot. So does, CNET, which recently picked him up for CNET’s Asia editions. Anyway, the whole American Internet companies operating in China ethical debate thing? He writes an excellent post which puts it all into great, speculative, perspective:

“So far, US Internet companies have been scrupulous in not suggesting that their prime benefit to Chinese users is access to controversial material, a move that would likely be poorly received by the Chinese government. But nor have they done a good job of articulating what benefits they do bring to Chinese users. Combined with their failure to adequately address the moral conundrum of operating in China –as opposed to the legal conundrum, which has been beaten to death– they have left a nifty vacuum for for their detractors to fill. They do not, nor have they ever, controlled this debate.”