After a lot of work internally, the Yahoo! Employee Blog Guidelines have been published. Yahoo! employees can find them on Backyard (our corporate Intranet) and the rest of you can get the PDF file by clicking that link.

Toward the end of writing these, the Powers That Be asked a few of us existing Y! Bloggers if we would like to toss in our own advice that they could link to. Here is what I wrote.

So you wanna blog about Yahoo...


But before you get started, let me offer a few bits of advice. I've been writing publicly about Yahoo on my weblog for a few years now and its been a lot of fun. There are A LOT of people out there who want to read about what goes on here and what we're up to: friends, family, fans, lawyers, enemies, journalists, shareholders, the SEC, and crazy people looking for anyway they can to get in touch with Yahoo.

Basically, just about anyone can and will read what you publish. So keep that in mind. If you're worried about what your Mom, manager, ex-coworker, or Terry Semel would think, listen to that instinct. And realize that once a cat is out of the bag, you can never get the damned thing back in. The blog world is incredibly efficient at spreading rumors, secrets, rants, hyperbole, and your mistakes.

You'll make mistakes. We all do. Just try to be smart about it.

But above all else, have fun with it. You'll meet a lot of interesting people and find that you never think about this company the same way again.


I wouldn't still be doing this if I didn't enjoy it. The fact that our executive team is giving is their official recognition and endorsement says a lot about the future of Yahoo.

Go forth and write. Be yourself. Speak your mind.

I did not write these guidelines, but a few of us (Russell, Jeff, JR, and me) acted as a sounding board for those who did.

Now I fully expect someone to point out a dozen or so times that I've completely disregarded the spirit of the guidelines. Knock yourself out. :-)

Posted by jzawodn at May 31, 2005 10:35 PM

Reader Comments
# Tim Converse said:

Jeremy says: "Now I fully expect someone to point out a dozen or so times that I've completely disregarded the spirit of the guidelines. Knock yourself out. :-)"

Well, I can't turn that down: Jeremy, would you like to expound upon point 1 of the Best Practice Guidelines ("Be Respectful of Your Colleagues") and its relationship to your posting entitled "Dear Moronic Coworkers"? :)

on May 31, 2005 10:56 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Wow, Tim. That didn't take you long at all! :-)

on May 31, 2005 10:59 PM
# Tim Converse said:

Yeah, well, someone in my household informs me instantly whenever there's been an important change in Yahoo! employee policies. :)

on May 31, 2005 11:06 PM
# Mark Jen said:

Nice! Just did a quick once over but it looks pretty good. I like the best practice guidelines section and how you guys were able to give good tips without using too much legalese.

I also like how you and Russ are listed as go-to people :)

on May 31, 2005 11:20 PM
# Jack said:

Too bad Ernie wasn't one of the official sounding board members - he would have had, I'm sure, a humorous slant on things.

on June 1, 2005 12:06 AM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Yeah. I'm sure he still will.

on June 1, 2005 12:08 AM
# Nicole Simon said:

I like it especially of one fact: It assumes, the person on the other side is smart enough to understand, what he or she is doing.

A lot of blogging is common sense, and the only real new part is "once you hit publish, it is out". That is something new for many people, even smart once.

Plus it really helps to have a big player like Yahoo publish those kind of guide lines, this will help others a lot. "Look, this is what Yahoo says to their employees. Why again should I follow this 300 page legal document?" :)

on June 1, 2005 12:46 AM
# TDavid said:

Straight to version 1.0, eh, no beta?

on June 1, 2005 06:26 AM
# James Day said:

Remarkably clueful. Good job by those writing it and advising them - and good comany PR, both in general and for prospective employees.

on June 1, 2005 06:50 AM
# Jeffrey McManus said:

To be honest when I saw the title of this my first thought was "oh, retch." But then I actually read the document and I was blown away by how low-impact and thoughtful it was. Most of the stuff in there looks like it's intended to keep people from shooting themselves in the foot and very little of it appears to be corporate CYA verbiage.

on June 1, 2005 10:31 AM
# Aaron Brazell said:

Now if I can find a way to get this document into the grubby paws of the Northrop Grumman policy makers....

on June 1, 2005 11:53 AM
# James Day said:

Aaron had a good thought there. Would Yahoo dedicate this to the public domain or release under some attribution-only license so others can easily use something based on it without copyright getting in the way? Nothing quite like good leadership on things like this.

on June 1, 2005 04:27 PM
# Comm N. Sense said:

Frankly, I think all of this is a lot of hullaboo over nothing. I like "Don't Be Stupid." (wasn't that Microsoft's policy or something wrt blogs?)

If you don't have the brains and maturity to communicate smartly in a variety of venues (online, offline, at work, at your local bar), then you deserve what's coming to you. What next, a policy on vlogging? Or a policy on what you should or shouldn't say when writing e-mails to friends? Or what you should and shouldn't say when out at parties?

Okay, if don't be stupid is too short and simple, how about "When you blog, think about reading the text out loud to your parents, your current and future bosses and colleagues, your friends, and your significant other."

on June 2, 2005 12:32 AM
# Aaron Brazell said:


Being an NG employee who blogs, I tend to be very standoffish to becoming the point of a "new corporate policy". It's expected for the Yahoos, Googles and Microsofts of the world to promote blogging or even take a neutral approach.

But as we all know, not as many companies are on board with it and quite a few are jittery about it, if they know anything about it at all.

I toyed with the idea of forwarding the Yahoo guidelines up my corporate chain but fear highlighting myself while there is no official policy in place. Nature abhors a vacuum.

What would be nice is if, in the upper echelons of business, these things were talked about and ideas passed across the corporate spectrums. Would prevent the little guys like me from being the flashpoint.

I tend to try to keep a low profile and my identity as an NG employee on the downlow for this reason. And here I am identifying myself here. Go figure. :)


on June 2, 2005 02:18 PM
# Comic Strip Blogger said:

These guidelines are mockery of reality that happanes on blogs of Yahoo employees. Respect? You people remove comments! And apart from that Russell Beattie has admitted that he is stealing copyrighted movies over BitTorrent - on his blog. He is also posting libel, slander and lies on his blog. Caution? Russell Beatte is a crook and he has signed under these guidelines? This is parody, mockery !!! What a shame!

on June 4, 2005 03:18 AM
# James Day said:


Setting yourself up to be shot down or attract lots of high profile attention has its negative points, so your approach is entirely understandable.:)

on June 5, 2005 08:04 PM
# mp3d said:

Well, I can't turn that down: Jeremy, would you like to expound upon point 1 of the Best Practice Guidelines ("Be Respectful of Your Colleagues") and its relationship to your posting entitled "Dear Moronic Coworkers"? :)

on June 13, 2005 01:35 AM
# Comic Strip Blogger said:

I kindly ask you to inform me, where at Yahoo! I can call, fax, send email, to report violation of above mentioned guidelines? I don't understand: what is the point in having guidelines if people can't report their violation to some higher authority. Could you explain?

on June 30, 2005 08:18 PM
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on February 3, 2006 10:38 AM
# Tom said:

Careful, the last few comments are SPAM. They should be removed. Thanks for sharing your company policy, which is a helpful resource to me as I help prepare one for my company.

on November 30, 2006 07:29 AM
# Ian Harkins said:

Ingrid Van Den Hoogen of Sun Microsystems gives an interview touching on employee blogging at where she talks about Sun's very open and trusting policy on it. That trust has not been betrayed and they were one of the first to allow it.

on February 28, 2007 02:05 PM
# Ragu4u said:

Maybe off the topic but.....
Can you tell me what happened to the ability of the public to comment on News stories that appear in Yahoo News? I have tried the "Ask Yahoo" option with NO response.
Let me know if you have the answer at


on November 28, 2007 07:35 AM
# Find said:
on March 27, 2008 06:36 AM
# David said:

Hey Jeremy
are you still working at yahoo ?

if you do some freelancing work , i have a couple of them which should be done

let me know if you are interested

David Ellis

on September 19, 2008 04:30 AM
# Steve said:

Attn all past Yahoo associates.
i am a financial adviser in the San Fernando Valley that helps individuals with 401K rollovers. I know many employees have been laid off and should strongly consider moving their retirement accounts. So if you do not have someone you work with, please give me a call @ 818-774-1003. We can also help you with Health Insurance, which may be less expensive than COBRA.


on December 16, 2008 04:50 PM
# LayoffGossip said:

People always hate to talk about when they are laid off. But as it has become every day's news headline since Yahoo started it with cutting 1500 of its task force last year, now a need of platform has been in demand where people can express their selves in words how they are feeling about their company, whey the got laid off was that justified or not.
And every thing they want to tell anonymously.And is providing you that platform.

on January 9, 2009 02:58 AM
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on January 27, 2009 11:41 PM
# bill said:

I dabble in Yahoo Answers for amusement and would enjoy it more if it weren't for the stress caused by violations. Questions or Answers are not always violated for obvious reasons, including mine that were innocent. And the violation notice does not provide any detail, including what the nature of the violation. Further, Appealing is pointless as it is always denied siting Guidelines and TOS, without any attention given to the issue, and at no time is the nature of the violation mentioned.
Yahoo TOS is quite clear You understand that by using the Yahoo! Services, you may be exposed to Content that is offensive, indecent or objectionable. and set conditions to users under the age of 13. Many people using Y/A are just passing time, looking for laughs. Among this many people is an adult sense of humor.
Will yahoo ever address this? And why are the people you talk to within Yahoo always from India or where ever?

on February 6, 2009 10:36 AM
# bill said:

Another violation. This time for commending a person for his sympathy to Australia and the current fire disasters.
I see also that no attention has been given to my previous post.
This oath I make here, now and public: every day from this day forward I will take actions against Yahoo. It will be my hope to reveal to we the people the underminded treatment they deliver to it's users and guest. Please do not take this too lightly as I will be using prime sources to express myself, internet radio and media. But I will do all this with truth and fairness--look these words up if they are foreign.
Btw, why is it that Yahoo has so many employee's in India? Under paid and our American economy is starving for table scraps.

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