All comments posted on this blog do not reflect the opinions of any organization that I am affiliated with. These are my personal perspectives only.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Getting over the "Blog" stereotype

It's been awhile since my last post. I do have several "partially" written pieces (well atleast in my head anyways). I've simply been just too busy to get them out. However, a January 15th episode on the Rick Mercer Report put a smile on my face and reminded me of a recent article in CIO Magazine.

The sketch is called "The Last Guy to Get his Blog" (click on "episode 11"). In this 1 minute video, Rick pokes fun at blogging and bloggers by portraying the stereotype of blogs. For example, the opening scene shows "Roger" typing in the following blog post...

"My last deodorant stick just ran out. I will buy a new one. Mood: Reflective."

This humourous skit captures the essence of why so many companies fear blogging. Corporations often see a blog as an un-productive waste of time. "Why would I give employees more time to be unproductive?". Is there any truth to this stereotype? I would say on the Internet, you are absolutely likely to find several blogs that seem to lack "substance" (if we were to be judgmental). To flip Technorati's slogan around, I guess we could say:

"With over 100 Million blogs on the Internet... Some of them must be pointless..."

But if we separate "content" from "capability", we can argue that the capability, the ability for anyone to easily collaborate with their peers, their organization or the world in ways or scales previously impossible should have the potential of driving valuable business benefit. Where people get hung up on is the "content".

This is exactly why I can't over stress that enterprise 2.0 is not the same as web 2.0. In the company, you can shape, motivate and inspire conversations geared towards the business priorities. People SHOULD be held accountable for their comments.

One way to help your organization get over the "stereotype of blogs" is to not call it a blog. A recent CIO Magazine article, "How to use Enterprise blogs to streamline Project Management" talks about the approach we applied in Bell Canada. I tend not post too much detail on my work at Bell Canada for various reasons (including it would appear biased), however if you read the article it will give you some insight on approaches to leveraging blogs. Dennis McDonald, author of one of the blogs I frequently visit, also provides some good advice in the article.

I'm so glad that my blog is always 100% full of relevant, useful, brilliant, not-to-mention insightful information... ;)

Oh Yeah, here's a picture of the Pizza that I am eating right now...

1 comment:

Dan R. said...

One way the Common Craft people see blogs is as "news", just not mainstream news.

So imagine if each department in a company had the opportunity to publish what they're working on, what their views on a certain topic might be, etc. The "market" could then decide on what ends up becoming popular and useful. Some blogs would thrive, others would not.

Newspapers in North America have government regulation for appropriateness and devices for public complaint but those are rarely used because the owners are motivated to see those publications thrive. They use common sense and knowledge of their market to make sure guidelines are met. The Communications Department would be the corporate analogue to such a government body. Rarely used, but there if it's needed.

Since it's free to publish the corporate blogs and there aren't any revenue targets associated (unlike commercial papers) there need not be a huge market to keep the blog alive. A small niche crowd works just beautifully.