17 March 2005

XML Concepts: Corporate blogging risk management tools

Worried your employees or corporate officers are blogging and increasing your risk exposure?


XML Corporate Blogger

Blogging risk management


This is an auto-mated system, like a spell- or grammar-checker. It gives corporate bloggers tools to screen their own content. It is designed to avoid publishing content that could bring discredit upon the employee and the corporation.

Spell checkers save time. It would also be nice to have a tool that reminded corporate bloggers of things that might not be smart to say or publish.

This note outlines a blog buddy that would give users a heads upon content. This tool would help CEOs ensure their employees had the tools to self-monitor their blog-content before publication.

LEGAL NOTICE


Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

You may not copy any of this work to promote a commercial product on any site or medium in the universe.

If you see this work posted on a commercial site, it violates the creative commons license; and the author does not endorse the commercial product.

Free to use for non-commercial uses. Link to this original blogspot and cite as .


Where are the lawyers?


Strange thing about the legal system is that very few are willing to be specific on what is or is not a problem. It’s only after the content shows up that they tell you what you should have already asked.

Clearly, the problem with this tool is that it could be construed as giving legal advice. It remains to be seen whether the general counsel would work with the CEO to ensure that this tool remains in the suite of tools the Corporate Board would support.

In my view, if the GC doesn’t want to support such a tool, then why is the corporation bothering to have risk management training? It’s almost as if the attorneys want to give just enough information to keep them employed, but never enough information to actually assist someone, unless there’s a problem.

I like the word proactive. The best thing a corporate board can do is give their CEO the green light to ensure their employees are trained. Why does training have to come in formal sessions; could it not also come in the form of real-time warnings and suggestions?

If the GC wants to be part of the planning process, then counsel should be part of the proactive-end of the solution: Get the attorneys involved in the training, design, and deployment of such a system.

In the end, the insurance companies might actually reduce the premiums on Directors and Liability Insurance if the employees had tools that would keep the directors out of hot water.

Modules to support this tool


This tool would have seven modules. Two would focus on the baseline data. The other four would integrate with the blog. The seventh module would be the blog-interface that highlights the problematic content.

This system would be an alert system of the Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] guidance changes. Unlike PubSub, this system would focus on translating that guidance into a tool for corporate bloggers.

This tool would take the final rules, legislative language, and caselaw related to communications, and translate that information into tags, words, and other meta language.

The blogger when possibly writing defamatory or problematic information would get a warning in their blog that there was a potential issue.

The blogger would not have to rely on their friend in the office to read the contents; the automated tool would do what a spell- or grammar-checker does: Highlight problems, give options, and allow the blogger to ignore those comments.

Module 1: Standards integration


One module of this system would be an integrating module. This would integrate the caselaw, company guidance, attorney feedback, and other corporate policies into a clear set of standards and alerts.


Module 2: Meta language


The next module would translate the standards from module one into words and tags. Attorney input would be required when developing this database to both review the new guidance and clarify terms and alerts in the software.


Module 3: Platform Mesh


The third module would be the platform mesh. This would be like the grammar checker. This is the platform where bloggers would compose their words.

As the corporate blogger is typing, the platform mesh would capture and read blog content. This module would compare the blog content with the words in module two.

This module would highlight words with alerts, and provide links to caselaw and regulations for details.

This mule would be integrated with a 3-D image depicting the number of words, and where the most serious problem exists. With one picture, a corporate blogger may see that the litigation risk is too high and simply delete the comments and start over.

This module would also show how to change the words, and like a spell checker offer suggestions on how to reword the blog to reduce the litigation risk.

Module 4: 3-D display


Module four is the 3-Display. This module would take the blog content and compare it with the words on the list. Module for would highlight the words in a mini-blog, and map the words in 3-D.

Module four would compare the changes in blog content and options to adjustments in the 3-D map. As alternatives words were chose, the corporate blogger would see the litigation risk fall from red down to yellow, then orange, and finally green.

Module 5: Audit


Module Five is the audit module. This identifies gaps in the software. This module would emphasize situation and case where outside review is warranted.

This monitoring module would act as a catalyst for cross talks. Blogging comments that were problematic would get flagged where appropriate.

This module would ensure that caselaw, trade secrets and other intellectual property guidance were incorporated into the platform to detect and warn on issues requiring outside assistance.

Again, to be clear, all the words and caselaw loaded into the platform would be personally reviewed and screened by an attorney. This would ensure that the software was not issuing legal advice; rather the focus of the tool would be one of training and feedback.

The audit module would provide a means for the general counsel to monitor and sample the outgoing communication to see whether the software was not working as intended.

Module five would ensure that the written polices were clear and published; and that if there was a problem in words or comments getting released that were not captured, that corrections occurred in the policies.

Module 6: Verification


Module six is the verification module. This module would do stress testing on the platform on a continuous basis.

This module would act as a new corporate blogger, and enter new standard phrases commonly found on the web or in internal blogs. This module would ensure the results, reports, and recommends and changes in the 3-D maps were integrating and working properly.

Also, summary reports would be given to the general counsel to ensure that trends in blogging language were adequately injected into the HR training.

This module would also integrate with other platforms within the system to ensure the same type of language was generating the same results and warnings.

This module would sample new caselaw terms, elements, and standards and issue findings for the general counsel to review. Again, this tool is not designed to replace the general counsel.

Rather, this module would act as a means to integrate ongoing blog terminology with the existing platform to identify potentially adverse trends, which only the general counsel could provide a legal opinion.

Module 7: Trend Analyzer


Module seven is the trend analyzer. This is the module that generates specific reports for different groups. One summary report would go to the corporate board to report on the effectiveness of the tool, and whether the adjustments were having the intended effect.

Highlights disconnects


This module would highlight disconnects between the following sources of guidance:

  • Sarbanes-Oxley [SarBox]
  • Company policy
  • Legal advice and what the tool is saying
  • What employees are doing vs. what they have been trained on
  • Whether the audit-results translate into changes in employee conduct, words in the software modules, and the guidance from both HR and GC


  • Presents Time-Phased Schedule


    This module would also report a time-phased schedule. Module seven would graphically show how the module-results flow into:

  • Board meetings, agendas, reviews, decisions
  • Audit committee plans, and updates
  • HR training
  • Updates to blog-monitoring software
  • Feedback to the general counsel on reconciliation and feedback to the board



  • Summary

    This tool would provide feedback on information, even if not published. The tool would be a valuable vehicle to discuss important risk-related issues.

    I can think of no better catalyst to reduce litigation risk than to have an effective training program in place that is well coordinated with the general counsel. This tool would ensure there is integration with the general counsel at all phases of the software development, and that emerging trends are quickly showcased for the GC to review.

    Most of all, this tool would result in better employee knowledge of requirements and enhance their training
    Worried your employees or corporate officers are blogging and increasing your risk exposure?


    XML Corporate Blogger

    Blogging risk management


    This is an auto-mated system, like a spell- or grammar-checker. It gives corporate bloggers tools to screen their own content. It is designed to avoid publishing content that could bring discredit upon the employee and the corporation.

    Spell checkers save time. It would also be nice to have a tool that reminded corporate bloggers of things that might not be smart to say or publish.

    This note outlines a blog buddy that would give users a heads upon content. This tool would help CEOs ensure their employees had the tools to self-monitor their blog-content before publication.

    LEGAL NOTICE


    Creative Commons License

    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

    You may not copy any of this work to promote a commercial product on any site or medium in the universe.

    If you see this work posted on a commercial site, it violates the creative commons license; and the author does not endorse the commercial product.

    Free to use for non-commercial uses. Link to this original blogspot and cite as .


    Where are the lawyers?


    Strange thing about the legal system is that very few are willing to be specific on what is or is not a problem. It’s only after the content shows up that they tell you what you should have already asked.

    Clearly, the problem with this tool is that it could be construed as giving legal advice. It remains to be seen whether the general counsel would work with the CEO to ensure that this tool remains in the suite of tools the Corporate Board would support.

    In my view, if the GC doesn’t want to support such a tool, then why is the corporation bothering to have risk management training? It’s almost as if the attorneys want to give just enough information to keep them employed, but never enough information to actually assist someone, unless there’s a problem.

    I like the word proactive. The best thing a corporate board can do is give their CEO the green light to ensure their employees are trained. Why does training have to come in formal sessions; could it not also come in the form of real-time warnings and suggestions?

    If the GC wants to be part of the planning process, then counsel should be part of the proactive-end of the solution: Get the attorneys involved in the training, design, and deployment of such a system.

    In the end, the insurance companies might actually reduce the premiums on Directors and Liability Insurance if the employees had tools that would keep the directors out of hot water.

    Modules to support this tool


    This tool would have seven modules. Two would focus on the baseline data. The other four would integrate with the blog. The seventh module would be the blog-interface that highlights the problematic content.

    This system would be an alert system of the Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] guidance changes. Unlike PubSub, this system would focus on translating that guidance into a tool for corporate bloggers.

    This tool would take the final rules, legislative language, and caselaw related to communications, and translate that information into tags, words, and other meta language.

    The blogger when possibly writing defamatory or problematic information would get a warning in their blog that there was a potential issue.

    The blogger would not have to rely on their friend in the office to read the contents; the automated tool would do what a spell- or grammar-checker does: Highlight problems, give options, and allow the blogger to ignore those comments.

    Module 1: Standards integration


    One module of this system would be an integrating module. This would integrate the caselaw, company guidance, attorney feedback, and other corporate policies into a clear set of standards and alerts.


    Module 2: Meta language


    The next module would translate the standards from module one into words and tags. Attorney input would be required when developing this database to both review the new guidance and clarify terms and alerts in the software.


    Module 3: Platform Mesh


    The third module would be the platform mesh. This would be like the grammar checker. This is the platform where bloggers would compose their words.

    As the corporate blogger is typing, the platform mesh would capture and read blog content. This module would compare the blog content with the words in module two.

    This module would highlight words with alerts, and provide links to caselaw and regulations for details.

    This mule would be integrated with a 3-D image depicting the number of words, and where the most serious problem exists. With one picture, a corporate blogger may see that the litigation risk is too high and simply delete the comments and start over.

    This module would also show how to change the words, and like a spell checker offer suggestions on how to reword the blog to reduce the litigation risk.

    Module 4: 3-D display


    Module four is the 3-Display. This module would take the blog content and compare it with the words on the list. Module for would highlight the words in a mini-blog, and map the words in 3-D.

    Module four would compare the changes in blog content and options to adjustments in the 3-D map. As alternatives words were chose, the corporate blogger would see the litigation risk fall from red down to yellow, then orange, and finally green.

    Module 5: Audit


    Module Five is the audit module. This identifies gaps in the software. This module would emphasize situation and case where outside review is warranted.

    This monitoring module would act as a catalyst for cross talks. Blogging comments that were problematic would get flagged where appropriate.

    This module would ensure that caselaw, trade secrets and other intellectual property guidance were incorporated into the platform to detect and warn on issues requiring outside assistance.

    Again, to be clear, all the words and caselaw loaded into the platform would be personally reviewed and screened by an attorney. This would ensure that the software was not issuing legal advice; rather the focus of the tool would be one of training and feedback.

    The audit module would provide a means for the general counsel to monitor and sample the outgoing communication to see whether the software was not working as intended.

    Module five would ensure that the written polices were clear and published; and that if there was a problem in words or comments getting released that were not captured, that corrections occurred in the policies.

    Module 6: Verification


    Module six is the verification module. This module would do stress testing on the platform on a continuous basis.

    This module would act as a new corporate blogger, and enter new standard phrases commonly found on the web or in internal blogs. This module would ensure the results, reports, and recommends and changes in the 3-D maps were integrating and working properly.

    Also, summary reports would be given to the general counsel to ensure that trends in blogging language were adequately injected into the HR training.

    This module would also integrate with other platforms within the system to ensure the same type of language was generating the same results and warnings.

    This module would sample new caselaw terms, elements, and standards and issue findings for the general counsel to review. Again, this tool is not designed to replace the general counsel.

    Rather, this module would act as a means to integrate ongoing blog terminology with the existing platform to identify potentially adverse trends, which only the general counsel could provide a legal opinion.

    Module 7: Trend Analyzer


    Module seven is the trend analyzer. This is the module that generates specific reports for different groups. One summary report would go to the corporate board to report on the effectiveness of the tool, and whether the adjustments were having the intended effect.

    Highlights disconnects


    This module would highlight disconnects between the following sources of guidance:

  • Sarbanes-Oxley [SarBox]
  • Company policy
  • Legal advice and what the tool is saying
  • What employees are doing vs. what they have been trained on
  • Whether the audit-results translate into changes in employee conduct, words in the software modules, and the guidance from both HR and GC


  • Presents Time-Phased Schedule


    This module would also report a time-phased schedule. Module seven would graphically show how the module-results flow into:

  • Board meetings, agendas, reviews, decisions
  • Audit committee plans, and updates
  • HR training
  • Updates to blog-monitoring software
  • Feedback to the general counsel on reconciliation and feedback to the board



  • Summary

    This tool would provide feedback on information, even if not published. The tool would be a valuable vehicle to discuss important risk-related issues.

    I can think of no better catalyst to reduce litigation risk than to have an effective training program in place that is well coordinated with the general counsel. This tool would ensure there is integration with the general counsel at all phases of the software development, and that emerging trends are quickly showcased for the GC to review.

    Most of all, this tool would result in better employee knowledge of requirements and enhance their training
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