Intranet blogs hit critical mass

Most employees don’t like to blog, but they like to read them.


Thomson Reuters employee blog

An employee blog on ThomsonReuters intranet (Source: ThomsonReuters)


The Intranet 2.0 Global Study 2010 (526 respondents) reveals that most organizations have blogs on their intranets:

  • 53% of organizations have blogs on their intranet
  • 18% of organizations have enterprise wide intranet blogs
  • 19% of organizations have plans to deploy intranet blogs
  • 20% of organizations are considering blogs for their intranet
  • 8% of organizations have no plans and no interest in intranet blogs

A further breakdown of intranets by size shows that blogs are common on intranets and organizations of all sizes, but are more common in the big organizations:

  • 79% of organizations of over 100,000 employees have intranet blogs; this jumps to 87% in organization of between 50,000 and 100,000 employees
  • 57% of organizations of less than 100 employees have intranet blogs; this drops to 37% in organizations of between 100 and 1000 employees

Despite their proliferation, however, most intranet blogs are penned by executives. Employees like to read them, but the vast majority aren’t ready to write them. Case in point: IBM.

Despite its massive size and web savvy population IBM reveals that only 5% of the employee population blogs on the corporate intranet, but only a fraction of those regularly post to a blog. In fact, although there are more than 16,000 blogs at IBM, fewer than 900 people (less than one-quarter of one percent of all IBM employees, or 0.25%) have blogged in the past 3 months, according to an internal IBM survey of employees (see Employee intranet blogs wanted).

These statistics hold true at other organizations. Thomson Reuters has more than 400 employee blogs, on their intranet, and a home page that encourage employees to “Create a blog.” However, Thomson Reuters has 55,000 employees. Despite the prominent placement of a “Blogs” widget or portlet and a “Explore Blogs” promotional link (where employees can create their own blog), both on the home page, less than 1% of employees are blogging.


Thomson Reuters intranet home

Thomson Reuters intranet home with “Blogs” widget (bottom right)


This low adoption / penetration of employee blogs shouldn’t surprise anyone: most employees are not writers, let alone citizen journalists, and have work to do. Don’t be fooled though, employees do want to hear more from the executive suite, and they are eager to learn more about and better understand their business, and the direction of the organization. Employees want to read blogs, they just don’t want to write them.

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