Do blogs fit in the enterprise? Specific examples (WIIFMs) …

Vinson points out a post from Lee, asking if blogs have a place in the enterprise. Jack’s response is interesting, diving into a better way to understand what a blog could be, and the potential for connections. Adventures In Knowledge also chimed in, with a defense of the power of connections.

Good stuff, and I tend to agree … but it’s all conceptual, and doesn’t resonate with folks who are change-resistant. As my IT organization moves inexorably to a new intranet foundation – probably SharePoint – and the creation of a blogging platform, we talk about specific, value-adding, practical use cases – the true WIIFM’s …

  • Corporate Buzz: We’ve been told time and again, from folks at all levels of IT, that there is a keen interest in knowing what’s going on (how is the business doing, what is the current focus, which projects / initiatives are getting attention). Each week, upper management has meetings, and folks on that level share and listen. Notes are taken, and then the C-level and VPs meet with their staffs, to share and listen. Notes are taken, and the Directors and Group Managers meet with their staffs, to share and listen. Notes are taken, and the Team Leaders meet with their teams, to share and listen.
    • A huge waste of time, taking and retaking the same notes over and over
    • A huge opportunity for messages to be diluted or over-soundbited (bitten?); meaning is lost
    • Limited opportunity for communication up the chain
  • Project Status Reports: At any one time, there are over 100 projects in play, each with their own list of issues, events, milestones. With no single standard, status updates get published as eMails, attachments to eMails, and/or logs / diaries in project folders.
    • Difficult to be sure you’re hearing about everything you might be interested in, because the information is stashed in many locations, in multiple formats
    • Difficult to wade through what you can locate, because every group has a different style – you need to burn some brain time just to orient yourself to the next format / presentation
    • Difficult to search for relationships between projects and technologies; with no document format standard, a fairly impressive, complex, and potentially expensive enterprise search capability is required

We know that people don’t like to write, and expecting folks to use blogs as diaries for their thoughts, creating knowledge sharing opportunities in the white spaces, yada yada … well, it falls on deaf ears. But in these cases, we’re talking about changing the data entry tool for typing that they are already doing – so we’re not adding any work. In fact, we’re immediately reducing all the transcribing and repeating, and driving up the quality of the stuff they are reading by eliminating the translations.

Well, it sounds good to a lazy guy like me …

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James MacLennan

... is the Managing Partner at Maker Turtle LLC, a digital consultancy focused on creating value in ways that align with your strategy and drive engagement with employees, customers, and stakeholders. He is an active creator, providing thought leadership through on-line & print publications, and public speaking / keynotes.