Blogging in the Enterprise

Blogging. It is here to stay, so if you’re not on board yet, here is something to really push up on your priorities list. A study by Guidewire Group, shows some amazing statistics of the penetration of blogging within the enterprise.

“The vast majority of companies (89%) are either blogging now or planning to blog soon.”

“Blogging has penetrated virtually every industry.”

“55% of corporations have adopted blogs for both internal (91.4%) and external (96.6%) communications, and are finding significant benefit to both forms.”

“No respondent reported launching a blog initiative that was found to be unsuccessful.”

That was in 2005; the blogosphere has certainly gone viral since. In this context, organizations would certainly benefit greatly from the facilitation of blogging and even micro-blogging within the enterprise. One of the main reasons for the high adoption of blogs is the fact that they can effectively facilitate knowledge management across departments, teams and business units.

Let’s look more closely at some examples.

Susan Hanley discusses a study by Ehrlich and Shami, who analysed ‘Microblogging Inside and Outside the Workplace’. The study –summarized by Hanley – clearly shows that encouraged by IBM, employees utilize internal and external microblogging tools productively and ethically. From the study:

“There was no ambiguity about posting confidential information.”

“..there is a greater sense of community amongst internal microbloggers.”

“..the value of reading Twitter was to get access to good information sooner than through other sources.”

“..participants were very conscious of the value of posting information for enhancing their own reputation, as a form of impression management”

“..people commented on the sense of connectedness that came with participation in microblogging.”

This clearly helps to highlight some of the misconceptions about confidentiality as one of the key issues in Enterprise Microblogging. Not only do blogs and microblogs work, they help unlock tacit knowledge in the workforce, reduce time spent in looking for information through increased knowledge management, generate proactive community participation leading to a greater sense of employee engagement, all-the-while keeping the interactions professional and therefore, productive.

(For more information about the specific benefits for IBM in promoting web 2.0 tools, read my blogpost – ‘Enterprise 2.0 | Benefits & Risks’.)

Another really good example of Blogging in the Enterprise is Oracle’s Blog. A very well organized community platform, I’ve found it serves two main purposes.

1.       It serves as a central knowledge hub for all things Oracle containing posts about all their projects, products, insights under the single roof of the blogging platform.

2.       I’m sure the folks at Oracle already know this, but it is also a brilliant showcase for customers, industry experts and even job seekers! The tag cloud on the right, takes you directly into highly specific blogs about SOA, Fusion Middleware, php, Exadata, Siebel CRM, Solaris, etc.

Communities that develop through the collaboration facilitated by the Oracle Blog are closer, more productive and almost always in the best interests of the Enterprise.

Another study by the Department of Computer Science at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology found while studying tweeting patterns that “it’s a surprisingly interconnected network and an effective way to filter quality information”, as reported by MIT’s Technology Review. An analysis of information distribution mechanisms across twitter helps explain ‘Why Twitter Is the Future of News’.

Journalism – probably the oldest and most experienced Enterprise around – is fast becoming dependent on information shared on twitter as a primary source of news stories. Surely 140 characters cannot be considered authoritative or descriptive, but the success behind twitter is that the short messages force customers to focus on brevity, keeping content highly concise & specific and keep us connected to cloud, according to Rohit Bhargava.

There are many lessons to be learnt on the road to effective collaboration in the Enterprise; however blogs and microblogs are a surprisingly effective paradigm that helps organizations succeed at employee engagement.

I welcome the opportunity to discuss this further, so if I’ve piqued your interest please take a moment to comment..

References

Bhargava, R. 2010. 7 Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Twitter’s Success. What did YOU learn? Retrieved September 03, 2010 from http://blog.mrtweet.com/7-lessons-entrepreneurs-can-learn-from-twitters-success
Ehrlich, K. and N. Shami. 2010. Microblogging Inside and Outside the Workplace. Retrieved September 03, 2010 from http://www.cs.cornell.edu/~sadats/icwsm2010.pdf

GuidewireGroup. 2005. Blogging in the Enterprise. Retrieved September 03, 2010 from http://www.blogonevent.com/archives/Guidewire%20Survey%20Executive%20Summary%20-%20Blogging%20in%20the%20Enterprise%20-%20Oct%202005.pdf

Hanley, S. 2010. What’s happening? “Micro-blogging” inside the Enterprise. Retrieved September 03, 2010 from http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/59324

MIT Technology Review. 2010. Why Twitter Is the Future of News. Retrieved September 03, 2010 from http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/mimssbits/25128/

Image link: http://www.innovationcreators.com/Structured%20Blogging%20within%20the%20Enterprise-thumb.png

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About Shri Ram
Senior Project Manager with 8 years of Information & Communication Technology (ICT) and business management experience in the private sector with key emphasis on program management, strategic project management, account management, vendor management and best-in-class product development utilizing PMBOK/PRINCE2/Agile Project Management Methodologies.

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