I got in touch with Shel (the guy who introduced me to blogging). Shel and Scoble are writing a blogging-related book over at RedCouch, so I thought Shel might have a clue.
Shel very kindly referred me to Scoble, who promptly replied. I asked if I could quote Scoble. Sensing that Scoble might be tied up, Shel wrote to "go ahead" because Scoble's "the world's most transparent guy. They call him Mr. Cellophane".
Of which I confirmed with Scoble later (his permission to post his reply, that is. I don't know about the Cellophane bit). Here's Scoble's comment to my questions:
Subject: RE: Any advice for employees trying to convince mgt that blogging has more benefits than risks?* Scoble works at Microsoft.
That's a very tough question.
One way is to just take a risk and start one without asking for permission. That's sorta how it happened here.*
Another way is to get permission to start one blog as a trial to show it can bring some benefits to the company. That's a lot safer, but then everyone will probably get involved and try to PR control it.
Another way is to get an entire group to blog. Say 10 people. This makes it a little less likely that PR will get involved in everyone's life. But, many people will wait until their competitors start one, take over the #1 spot on Google (user research shows that's the only one that matters)
and then they'll be forced to start one up to compete.
Shel added: "One other possibility may be to start a private blog, and let the employers see what its about and that it's safe."
Thanks guys, for the advice. Now for me to translate some of those ideas into action. As the saying goes, "Nothing worth doing is ever easy" (something like that).
P.S. In case anyone wonders -- I'm nowhere near the league of those two guys when it comes to blogging. To borrow a quote (from saecker), "in the blog world, no one knows how small you are".