Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Why organizations should not blog

I found this Dilbert cartoon via this blogpost by knowledgecafe. The title of the Dutch blogpost is "why most organisations should not blog"

They give 3 arguments why corporate organisations should not blog:
1. Every post need to be checked by legal departments etc. which inhibits authenticity.
2. Organisations are not well prepared for negative comments. Turning off the comments function takes away an important feature of blogs.
3. The purpose of the blog may be to control PR about your brand. But this is an illusion anyhow (the idea that you can control your image/branding).

I think corporate blogging is a very different category from personal blogging. An individual blog takes on the personality of the blogger. My experiences with a group blog is that a group blog is quite different too, as the blog doesn't take on any personality either. I think a group blog can work well with a clear common purpose/theme and long-term interaction within the team. Then the blog can take on the colour of the team. (and probably without colour a blog isn't very interesting to anyone). This process takes time (and probably more interaction than we have currently).

From a US report of last year (the Makovsky state of corporate blogging survey), the fortune 1000 senior executives are slow to react to the credibility of corporate blogs. Only a minority have someone writing a blog related to the company (15%). This figure is much lower than the figure of another study which predicts 70% of corporations will blog by 2007.

Talking about blogging, there is a good blogpost with a powerpoint presentation about 25 styles of blogging by the 360 digital influence blog. When I went through it, it made me think about my prefered blogstyles. Maybe I should try out some new styles.

3 comments:

hoong said...

another interesting topic. But a very vast topic. I hope my opinion here is cohesieve enough to give some positive input.

Why should corporate blog? In which areas corporate should blog? What topic corporate should blog about? Who should control (unfortunately that would come into play for legal interests) the contents? Who is the owner of the content etc. etc. . These are just a small list that come to mind re: 'corporate blogging'.

Although, seemingly, corporate has a lot to gain with blogging from her employees, but there are many legal issues that would face the corporate if the contents, for whatever reasons, are not appropriate. And legal issues is not the only problem, perhaps we should also think about sensitive products information (if R&D)to name just a few??

But, if we take a step back, and (here comes my favourite) think of blogging as nothing more BUT a tool, then why should corporate blogging be anything different than corporate newsletters, physical department meetings, or any other reasons that we can think of to get people together to share knowledge, to minggle and build relationships etc. etc.?

A corporate environemtn that is honest, euqal, paternal (here I mean the interest of management about the welfare of the employees rather than just profits and power struggle), encourage fair play etc., where employees feel secure and willing to share knowledge, communications and knowledge would flow no matter what kind of communication tools are available.

Just peeking from the very top surface, perhaps one can see clearly the magitudes and difficulties that discourage most organizations on corporate blogging. The most important, in my opinion, is about control. If you control you are a bad guy. If you do not control you get sue or worse. Who wants the headaches?

By comparing individual blog, group blog and corporate blog, you also touch on the subject of, perhaps not directly, on individualism and collectivism. "Collective activities" involve more than one individuals. To make things work, that would take on a lot of negotiations, committments, give and take, between individuals of the group, OR a very strong arm to control. In my opinion, there should always be a leader, and followers.

Discussions about individual, group and corporate blogs can lead to another dimension: the behaviour of our societies: indiviudal, family, nation.

Joitske Hulsebosch said...

Hi Cindy, thanks for you ideas. Let me react to this part:

But, if we take a step back, and (here comes my favourite) think of blogging as nothing more BUT a tool, then why should corporate blogging be anything different than corporate newsletters, physical department meetings, or any other reasons that we can think of to get people together to share knowledge, to minggle and build relationships etc. etc.?

I think that's a good question, if a blog is nothing but a tool, why not use a blog for something different? What's so special? What I think is special about blogs is blogs that are worth reading and personal, written in a style in between speech and letters (longer than e-mails) which is conversational, which makes it easy for people to engage with blogs (this as compared to articles). So there's the blogosphere with people reading. If you use a blog for a different purpose (eg. collecting bookmarks) you are not really part of the blogosphere. So the place of organisations in the blogosphere is somehow more problematic and will be worked out over the next years or so. (that's what I think)

hoong said...

I think if an organization is interested in setting a space for their employees to blog, and if they take it as seriously as they would run the business, it can be done. It just needs good planning, good policies, good governance etc. Just like running a BUSINESS/ORGANIZATION.

The real problem I see is, that would take away the innovative, carefree, indvidualistics, characteristics of a blog. Ironically, that fits in with the title of this correct: Why Organizations should not blog'!! It kills the spirit.