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wshaffer
Blog Like Your Coworkers are Reading... 
31st-Mar-2008 11:17 am
RTFM
My employers have set up an internal blogging system, so that everyone at the company can have a blog that's visible to everyone else at the company. This is, of course, a Cool Thing, so I created a blog right away.

Only now I've got no idea what to say in it. Apparently, my coworkers don't have a much better idea about what to say in theirs. I've checked the most recently updated blogs, and they all have a single post reading something along the lines of, "Hello World! I have a blog now. Neat!" Except for the blog of the guy who set up the blogging system, which has a post saying, "We can all have blogs now. This will lead to synergy and collaboration! Also, Wordpress is cool!"

So, what do you think? Will blogs lead to more synergy and collaboration, or just provide an additional platform for bitching about parking?
Comments 
31st-Mar-2008 07:53 pm (UTC) - ...or the boss
I only hope the chap who set up the blogging system has thought to add a few house rules as to what it's not to be used for. Just in case.
1st-Apr-2008 02:05 pm (UTC) - Re: ...or the boss
Rules? Surely you jest! That would only give people ideas...
31st-Mar-2008 08:04 pm (UTC)
Okay - so what you do to foment anarchy is to give everyone you know or work with some kind of nifty nick name - like Pseudo-Boss or Donut-thief and then you gossip wildly about how PB saw a mouse hole in the wall near their desk and when the first plugging of the hole didn't work, decided to lure the bugger out with sugar cubes stolen from the communal kitchen, only this attracted the attention of ants who trailed the sugar through the wall and into Bean-Counters office where they found a stash of hidden jelly beans...
1st-Apr-2008 02:04 pm (UTC)
I like the way you think.

Is it a bad sign that I already have goofy nick-names for half my coworkers anyway?
31st-Mar-2008 09:49 pm (UTC)
Sounds like an expensive time-sink. The best use I can see of it, is the same use as e-mails - "this is where I am on this project, this is what I'm thinking about it, this is the problem I'm having" but it's not directed enough to necessarly get the comments and feedback necessary to make it useful - your readers need to be self-directed to come look at it, it takes quite a bit of time to read/write if it's used at all, and it's only benifit over e-mail is access by more people, who are only useful if they have time to read it and are unexpectedly interested/affected/opinionated about the topic at hand.

Communial wiki's at least keep the info in one place... :-S but when we tried that one at Agilent it failed too. If the internal blog-o-sphere doesn't address a need that's not addressed by other existing media, it's a waste of time & money.

My 2 cents.
1st-Apr-2008 02:00 pm (UTC)
I've often wished we could use blogs for status reports. Currently they circulate by email, and then someone sticks them in a Sharepoint site, and it seems like more trouble than it's worth.

We've actually made fairly successful use of wiki's - successful at least in that people put information there, not necessarily successful in the sense that said information is always current, well maintained, or easily accessible to everyone who needs it.
1st-Apr-2008 02:39 pm (UTC)
I would've thought Wiki's would be better for status reports then blogs... but I suppose blogs allow for recording of changes over time...
31st-Mar-2008 10:46 pm (UTC)
I have a work blog -- I use it as a place to put the pocket lint that otherwise fills up my brain. Stuff like "remember this magic incantation that fixes the encoding display problem" or "here's that thing you always forget about the revision control system".

They're not really universal enough to put into an actual tech doc, but i like to think that maybe someone will stumble across them while trying to solve a problem, and they'll be useful.

And I do look up my own blog every so often.

But I don't have any cat pics up, or links to pr0n.
1st-Apr-2008 02:02 pm (UTC)
Hmmm...that's a thought - I've got the usual collection of little tips and tricks that aren't big enough or universal enough to put into a formal document. And even if I'm the only one who ever looks at the blog, it would still be useful.
1st-Apr-2008 12:27 am (UTC)
Time to start gossiping about people who don't exist.
1st-Apr-2008 01:55 pm (UTC)
I'm strongly tempted to start gossiping about project code-names that don't exist. If I started posting stuff like, "So, I hear strong rumors that the SnotMonster beta is slipping by 3 weeks...", I could a) start a panic b) probably guarantee that there would be a project called SnotMonster by the end of the year.
3rd-Apr-2008 12:54 am (UTC) - internal blogging
I use my internal blog for two main things:

1. Complaining about (or sometimes non-complaining discussion of) internal stuff I can't talk about publicly.

2. Linking to nifty intranet sites in hopes of raising their visibility.

But I only post 1-4 times a month.
3rd-Apr-2008 12:58 am (UTC) - Re: internal blogging
oh, and internal blogs may be more widely read if there are internal feed-readers/aggregators as well. Esp if there's a page that lists all the internal blogs, or all the ones that are updated regularly, or something like that.
3rd-Apr-2008 01:26 am (UTC) - Re: internal blogging
I think there are plans afoot for ways to make the internal blogs more visible. The main blog page has a list of blogs that have updated recently, and people are slowly starting to post real content.

I still haven't posted anything to my blog - we'll see if the spirit moves me.

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