Blogging The Intranet
While there’s a lot of good reading out there, there’s also a lot of.... ummm, what’s a word to describe the opposite of good?
While the good stuff is being read, the opposite is inspiring t-shirts like the following produced by T-ShirtHumor.com:
Produced by average people who seem to think their lives are interesting.
Filmed in thrilling HTML-O-Scope with exciting new fonts!"
While booming on the Internet, blogging on the corporate intranet is only in its infancy. But corporations are taking note.
Companies like InfoWorld and Disney are doing it and there are software companies that are selling blogging software specifically for the intranet including Technorati and Six Apart.
“Blogs ultimately will become a standard feature of many intranets,” says Shel Holtz, principal of Holtz Communication + Technology, who writes his own blog - A Shel of My Former Self. “If you undertake blogs on your intranet, rest assured you’re not the first. You can pat yourself on the back for being an early adopter, but others have blazed this trail before you.”
In fact, the trend has caught the attention of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) – the largest trade association in the world for corporate communicators representing nearly 15,000 members worldwide. This year’s International Conference in Washington, DC (June 26 – 29, 2005) will not only feature keynote addresses by political dynamic duo James Carville and Mary Matalin but also feature a special session on corporate blogging. A triumvirate of pro bloggers will discuss “best practice applications for blogs featuring Debbie Weil as moderator and bloggers from...
Air Conditioning Contractors of America
“An increasing number of organizations are exploring the use of blogs to communicate project updates,” says James Robertson, managing director of Australia-based Step Two Designs, one of the continent’s leading intranet consultants. “The idea being to setup a blog right at the outset of a new project, and then have all the team members contribute as they work. This meets two needs: a simple repository for internal team reference, and an effective (and honest) communications channel to those in the organization who are most interested.”
Using a blog as an internal collaboration tool is a key part of Step Two’s own internal operations, with each of its small staff authoring their own blog to discuss clients, project updates, brainstorm and “general industry gossip.”
A company blog from the President or CEO could go along way to better connecting employees with the executive floor.
“The idea is to communicate "awareness" rather than information, so that team members know what's happening, and who to go to for in-depth details,” adds Robertson who also authors is own public-facing blog called Column Two. “This works tremendously well, and is easy to do. It means, for example, that if a consultant is traveling for a few days, they can easily catch up on what's been happening in their absence.”
While it goes without saying that blogging is not for everyone, and certainly not every employee, it is working for others. Particularly for a hands-on CEO who is seeking to improve the state of employee communications and job satisfaction.
A company blog from the President or CEO could go along way to better connect employees with the executive floor. The correlation between employee satisfaction and the health of an organization’s employee communications is undeniable: each depends on the health of the other. This of course is nothing new to company CEOs at Sears, Cisco, Raytheon and many others who have written an intranet column on a regular basis for years.
To ensure, however, that your blog is read instead of inspiring facetious, cheeky t-shirts, here are a couple of pointers:
Keep it conversational and light
Know your audience and write to them
Blogs are highly time-sensitive so currency is critical
Anecdotes are encouraged and expected
Use links to refer to relevant information
Be succinct and break-up the text - which encourages ‘scanning’
Check out Toby Ward's IntranetBlog for more information.