The Future As Seen By Me In 2010

Well looky here, things one has scanned in eh. (ignore the photo, that's some guy that made some accounting software, not sure what became of him ;) MIKE RIVERSDALE is fuming. The expensive headphones he bought in Sydney three weeks ago have just died. His first reaction is not to randomly spill expletives into his coffee, but to use his iPhone to vent his frustration to his Twitter con- tacts, under the moniker Miramar Mike. "I will also put, 'What should I do?' It's a conversation. I'm reaching out to the people following me." The council predicts hand-held digital devices such as smartphones will rule the world in 2040. They already rule the life of Mr Riversdale, whose company WaveAdept helps businesses adapt - their computing sys- tems to allow staff to work from anywhere - and with anyone. In order of fre- equency, he uses his iPhone to tweet (1136 followers; 8363 tweets since joining), e-mail, make phone calls and use online services, such as checki

Blogging and KM: Discussion facilitated by Mike Riversdale, KM Specialist

NZKM entry:

What is KM?

Two aspects:
  • Knowledge
    - Explicit
    - Tacit
  • Flow
    - People
    - Communities (“networks”)
All about nurturing people because ‘knowledge growth’ is a social experience requiring exchange and interaction. Knowledge is something that is in constant transition and needs to be questioned, tested and discussed but not controlled.

Whilst software is an enabler of this social interaction it is to be remembered that they are ‘only’ tools aiding and enhancing this fundamental.


What is Blogging?
A weblog (usually shortened to blog, but occasionally spelled web log) is a web-based publication consisting primarily of periodic articles (normally in reverse chronological order).

KM specific blogs are sometimes referred to as k-logs – ick!

News ‘syndication’ (RSS)
There is some discussion as to what RSS stands for, but the majority plump for 'Really Simple Syndication'. Put plainly, it allows you to identify the content you like and have it delivered directly to you. It’s also being built into the next wave of Microsoft products.

3 technical versions – RSS v1, RSS v2, Atom

Another key element (arguably) to a blog is enabling anyone (?) to leave a comment to the articles. This is an areas to tread carefully in – too many quick responses have come back to haunt people.

Corporate Blogging
Organisations don’t blog, people do

Corporate blogging is similar to the “corporate clothing” in so much that whilst we adapt to a corporate culture we are still individuals. The ‘personality’ of the corporation is overlaid on our own.


Why do it?
KM Blogs can work in four ways.
  1. The organisations voice and stories are shared.
  2. This allows an insight into the true workings of the organisation and the tacit knowledge can be “exposed”
  3. Blogs are a kind of "university" for the blogger with it being on-the-job learning.
  4. Generate “communities of interest”
Blogs tend to become “about something” (which can be different to that initially envisioned). Similar blogs congregate in the playground and communities of interest arise.

Other uses within organisations:
  • Customer relations
  • Media relations
  • Internal collaboration
  • Recruitment
  • Test ideas or products

Conversations are already taking place among the millions of blogs that you can tap into. These conversations—about you, your industry, your company, your competitors, and your market—will occur whether you participate in them or not.

Effective blogging will help you to participate in the kind of conversations that enhance your business, building relationships that make people want to do business with you. You can engage your prospects, better understand them, and even get them to respect and like you (if you are likeable to begin with, of course).

Your organisation is being talked about and your staff are part of the conversation already!

There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray


What is good blogging?
“Good blogging” is blogging that meets your requirements. This assumes you have a reason (quantifiable) for blogging and not just because it’s hip.

Key elements to meet your requirements:
  • The personality
    usually it’s to reflect the “personality” of the organisation
  • The blogs voice
    whilst the organisation may have a personality the person writing has their own voice.
  • Links – it’s the Web!
  • Conversations
    enable, ask (be provocative) and respond to comments
  • Frequency
    have a “regular” update frequency
  • Feeding
    feed (RSS) out your articles; snippet’s or full?

I would suggest that the organisation is explicit with it’s requirements and publishes a “Guideline to our blogging”, even if the blogs are only internally facing.

An Example from IBM:

  1. Know and follow IBM's Business Conduct Guidelines.
  2. Blogs, wikis and other forms of online discourse are individual interactions, not corporate communications. IBMers are personally responsible for their posts. Be mindful that what you write will be public for a long time -- protect your privacy.
  3. Identify yourself -- name and, when relevant, role at IBM -- when you blog about IBM or IBM-related matters. And write in the first person. You must make it clear that you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of IBM.
  4. If you publish a blog or post to a blog and it has something to do with work you do or subjects associated with IBM, use a disclaimer such as this: "The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions."
  5. Respect copyright, fair use and financial disclosure laws.
  6. Don’t provide IBM’s or another’s confidential or other proprietary information.
  7. Don't cite or reference clients, partners or suppliers without their approval.
  8. Respect your audience. Don't use ethnic slurs, personal insults, obscenity, etc., and show proper consideration for others' privacy and for topics that may be considered objectionable or inflammatory -- such as politics and religion.
  9. Find out who else is blogging on the topic, and cite them.
  10. Don't pick fights, be the first to correct your own mistakes, and don't alter previous posts without indicating that you have done so.
  11. Try to add value. Provide worthwhile information and perspective.


What are the cultural implications?
Because blogging is a new way (old but using technology) of communicating it might not be for everyone in every organisation. Generally the culture of an organisation should:
  • Open – and not just “press release” open
  • Non-possessive to information
    if information is your organisations asset (IP) then be aware
  • Honest
  • There must be a demand for feedback outside of the technology
  • Communities outside the organisation structure can evolve which may undermine management “control”
  • Being willing to be challenged

Also a blog moves away from “review process” which might be a challenge for Marketing /Communications sections.

Blogs might usurp the Intranet – where are the “stories” and “information” to reside?

Whilst some people are funny, clear and topical writers – most of us aren’t and we need to know that about ourselves.

Common mistakes and potential pitfalls

  • Seen as another fad - which it probably is yet in 5 years we will all “blog” but won’t call it that.
  • Too much like hard work.
  • Staff use it as a way to “dis” the organisation – management issue that staff need to be aware of
  • Yet another place to get the message from
    RSS integration with other feeds may alleviate this
  • Feedback loop not closed – comments not answered and the blog becomes a “one way conversation”
  • Blog only used for official communications from the Marketing/Communications Department
  • No direction to the authors
    - How
    - Why
    - When
    - Audience

Reasons given for an internal blog pilot that failed

  1. We made it harder than it had to be for people to upstream to the internal server
  2. We didn’t index the blog content
  3. We didn’t drive traffic to the blog content through the portal
  4. Email is easier
  5. Blogging tool is still beyond “typical” corporate users
  6. Radio is a desktop tool but sometimes you need to blog from anywhere
  7. We didn’t offer clear instructions on when to use a blog versus a teamroom

Blogging isn’t everything!
Get off your butt and talk to people.

Complimentary to other forms of communication
  • Intranet / Internet
  • Search results
  • Phone book
  • Wiki
  • Online Forums
  • Traditional PR/Marketting

Integration is the key – people don’t care about “blogs”, they do care about communication and information.

The Wiki and the Blog are complimentary companion technologies that together form the core workspace that will allow intelligence officers to share, innovate, adapt, respond, and be—on occasion—brilliant. Blogs will cite Wiki entries. The occasional brilliant blog comment will shape the Wiki. The Blog will be vibrant, and make many sea changes in real-time. The Wiki, as it matures, will serve as corporate knowledge and will not be as fickle as the Blog. The Wiki will be authoritative in nature, while the Blog will be highly agile. The Blog is personal and opinionated. The Wiki is agreed-upon and corporate.

Further information

Others talking about Corporate/KM Blogging

Others doing it
How can I get involved?
Read other blogs first – read ones in your industry, your geographical area or about your interest areas. Start slowly. Read extensively. Post frequently. Link liberally.


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