Sunday, February 27, 2005

The blogging value proposition

I spent a good part of last week at a technology fair, talking to employees from various business units about collaborative technology. This was the second time I've done one of these when blogging was one of the technologies for me to show, and I think I finally got my spiel whittled down to something short and effective:

Blogging is a very simple way to add information to a website. Writing a blog post is as simple as writing an email. It's so simple because you don't have to worry about how your post gets added to your site. You write a post once and it gets published in four places: the top of the main index page, an individual post page for linking, a monthly archive, and the feed.

The feed is what is truly magical, because feed reader software checks the feed to see if anything is new, and lets you know if there is. In one spot, you can find out if there is anything new on dozens of sites that interest you. You can easily add or delete sites at any time. You are completely in control.

External blogs are great ways to engage experts from outside the company in whatever your particular area of interest is. If there are over 600 knitting blogs, there's bound to be something on your topic. If by some chance there isn't, if you start your own, it's likely to draw an audience from the latent demand.

Internally, blogs can serve an additional purpose: that of a natural knowledge repository. Most KM projects fail because they require additional work for employees and are typically instituted too late when employees are likely to be developing "short-timers" disease. By simply tweaking work habits (write a blog post instead of send an email), you can capture the context of decisions instead of only the end result without placing an additional burden on employees.

Hopefully, this will be of use to you. Suggestions for improvement are welcome.


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