September 10, 2002
Corporate weblogs: are they a Threat or Adding Value?
I've tried not to write too much navel gazing stuff about weblogs, but through a blogpopuli-link to The Falcon's Eye, I became aware of this article in informationweek: Secret CIO: Beware The Blog In Your Company's Future and I felt the need to speak up :-)
The idea of personal Internet logs is appealing, if not to us, then certainly to our families. These diaries let people post the latest on what they're doing, with hyperlinks to what they view as important. Perhaps, as some writers are saying, blogs are a new source of business intelligence, capturing the knowledge of key personnel for the benefit of all members of a company. However, if technology history is any guide, take the hype with a grain of salt. I sense that blogs will wind up in the same category as Internet chat rooms--a potentially interesting diversion if you don't have a whole lot to occupy your time but not a particularly reliable or efficient source of information. The reason is threefold: quality of data, time expended versus value received, and the reality of litigation.
Needless to say, I believe this anonymous CIO is wrong.
- Why remain anonymous? Surely a potential sign of a "trolling" article or a flame-bait... and if not - a sign of not daring to stand up and defend his opinions, unlike what we're used to in the weblog world?
- I'm not a great believer in defending people yatting away about their personal lives, cats children or even more indiscreed subjects in their paid work time.
- I am a believer in that intranet-based weblogs / "Knowledge logs" can add value for a company; and also that putting in place a Corporate Weblog Policy can clarify the distinction between prefessional and personal blogging...
- I am also a believer in that for some companies, like Groove and Macromedia has done - writing corporate, publicly available blogs are a great way to build credibility for their technologies and interact with their users...
The Falcon's Eye writes, and I agree:
If you treat your staff like unmanageable children you can pretty much expect them to act like children. And just like those children, the opportunities for dynamic interaction, learning, and shared opportunities will slip away.
I will support you on that there will be distinction between professional and personal blogging. For personal blogging, we post more personal stuff and don't occupy the work time. For professional blogging, we post job-related information, just like publishing on the intranet web site.
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