September 09, 2005

OSW: Suw Charman - Dark Blogs: Using Blogs Behind the Firewall

Dark blogs are those that you can't see because they're hidden behind a firewall, or a password protection, so basically blogs being used internally by businesses.

There's a case study posted on her blog Strange Attractor.

"A big race to be second, or preferably third to implementing new technology within business." Number of businesses using blogs is on the increase, but there's little information about how they're doing that.

Blogs not always the answer. Sometimes it's wikis or IM, or even shock horror the old-fashioned face to face meetings. Work out what the problem is first, then decide whether blogging will help.

Disney use blogs to replace a system of event logging after failing to computerize their paper based system with some special software.

A pharmaceutical company have a blogging team to keep on top of useful business knowledge and competitive information.

Some people within The Guardian use blogs to organize their data.

If it doesn't fit in with how people normally work, it won't be successful. Blogs are easy and flexible which helps in this respect.

You can use email to let people get into it easily - blogs can be set up to allow email to post. The pharmaceutical company also provide an email digest of the blog so people can keep up-to-date in a way that they're familiar with.

Remember, people don't like change. No-one cares that you're blogging, just use it and let them see how it helps them do their job.

Training is minimal :-) "If you can surf the 'net, you can blog. It's that simple". Rather than providing training, help people find more experienced (in blogging) colleagues who can help out.

Talk to users before imposing a blogging system on them. Find out how it can help them and hopefully they'll become evangelists for the new tools.

Eat your own dog food - if you're implementing blogging in your own company you better be blogging yourself.

Support "invisible work" - the surfing the internet, thinking about things, mulling over posts... the sorts of things needed for good blogging but which are hard to quantify as "work".

Experiment. Don't worry if the blog doesn't work. Throw it away. Start again.

If you're thinking of using blogs in your business, but don't know much about it, start by reading blogs. Then start a personal blog. Get a feel for how blogging works, and what it feels like.

Posted by Adrian at September 9, 2005 02:36 PM | TrackBack

This blog post is on the personal blog of Adrian McEwen. If you want to explore the site a bit further, it might be worth having a look at the most recent entries or look through the archives or categories over on the left.

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