September 09, 2005

OSW: Euan Semple - Working in a Wired World

Talk about what happens when you start to introduce blogs, wikis, discussion groups, etc. into a business, drawing on his experience of doing just that within the BBC.

As a manager a few years ago Euan found out that some of his staff were spending more and more time in the evenings sharing their experiences, and disucssing their work with people doing similar jobs outside the BBC through bulletin boards, etc. He thought it would be a good idea to provide some tools within the BBC to let them discuss things internally.

He didn't care too much about what people used the bulletin boards for, just things that the users find valuable. So it covers things work related, non-work related, rants, whatever.

The next tool they put in was a system called Connect - like Friendster for the corporation. People can put in details about their expertise and interests, and it helps surface the informal networks in the company.

They have around 200 blogs internally. One example he gave of Richard Sambrook's blog, where sometimes he's posted about quite sensitive issues within the corporation which have spawned long comment threads, and have been commented on by many senior managers. These are discussions which would still have taken place without the blog, but because of the blog they're being made out in the open.

Final tool they've put in is Confluence, which is a wiki. Not quite the usual completely open wiki tool, but allows whoever creates the wiki to manage what level of access is allowed. Surprisingly, given that wikis have a slightly steeper learning curve compared to the other tools, Confluence has been the quickest growing of the tools.

The tools are all very democratic - it doesn't matter who or what you are within the BBC, you are judged on your contributions.

Posted by Adrian at September 9, 2005 02:05 PM | TrackBack

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