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Changing Face of Blogs

I've been struggling to get going with blogging since returning from Europe.  Many of my thoughts just prior to going away had an increasingly Corporate Blogging thrust from thinking about teams to also how the news is collected. 

So it was nice to see this timely reminder from Rob Patterson to use blogging to change our world.  He says: " it's not about making the corporation better..." he writes about human voices, conversations, discovery.  From his previous day post I'll add in community and learning...

And that is exactly why we need to stretch the perceptions and understanding of individuals in organizations. I still believe early organizational bloggers will have power.  They also need to explore how they will share with their colleagues - some who will be threatened.  They may emerge as experts as they talk with a voice that can influence internally and perhaps externally. They accelerate their learning and provide new opportunities to share organizational success --- and good strategy comes from great conversations. Similarly smart blogging strategies will simplify and streamline their communication channels.  So, blogging can and will improve institutional learning. 

This is exactly why Rob's desire for an eBay market for knowledge will also impact.  Just like the wreckless claims that all large organizations should start organising "Bringing Silicon Valley Inside" like venture firms, blogging may well stimulate new knowledge communities and in that may have a more lasting impact on instituitions.  Knowledge in such a format is inherently cooperative.  Thus the ownership structures may change providing the fuel for revolutionizing the corporate institutions. 

Rob: "For me the big challenge is how can we create a safe community where we can learn from each other?" 

As an individual being part of a blogging community is something I desire.  In the life before blogging I had many colleagues almost none of which currently blog.  While I've not asked them much... few have ever asked me about my blogging.  It why it is so enlightening and enriching to make contact with other bloggers who see the potential. The free flowing implicit connections are not institutionalized and yet my desire remains for more explicit connections that force me to "raise the bar".  I feel there is a merry dance in there.  Few blogger that I really know or correspond with have been blogging longer than two years.  We are thus a mass of loose ties... weakly joined. The potential for collective action is enormous.

So perhaps the challenge is to link or cross syndicate blogs - perhaps for time periods possibly for lifetimes.  The contracts can be explicit... We maintain the individual augmented by their thought networks.  I'm not blogging alone... and yet I'd like to be blogging as part of a more collaborative group. I need more input - perhaps that is just me. However, blogging in a groups still fits with my belief that all of us is better than anyone of us. 

Back to the CEO --- exploring the possiblities of blogging will open up the flow of information in organizations.  Increased flow makes everything more transparent. The hierarchies approach to organizations rather than wirearchy means a lack of transparency, creating powerlessness and leaves CEO's listening too often to too few voices. If the organizational environment could even begin to approach the blogging stream of thought (See Mitch & John R example re making "connections") then the emphasis will move one tick closer to "learning faster".  I

I'm sure there is a percentage point where people get a bigger kick out of what they are doing when they are learning more.  Those that are blessed with the 20%+ of time type number will almost automatically put confidence and leadership back into an organization.  The CEO that fails to explore blogging will fail to harness the changing social nature of work.   

Comments (3)

Seems we said almost the same thing for e-mail, personal web sites, bulletin boards, IM, WIFI....

There is potential in blogs within organizations, perhaps more as team or group blogs at the CoP, project or department level, than individual blogs.

Think you state the case too strongly. Blog communities are still around weak ties with even weaker identity, produce scattered records, participate in distributed conversations and more about personal thoughts than collaborative synthesis.

I don't think I agree with Denham. My sense is that the sooner we start to acknowledge that most organizations now are functioning on and in flows of information, rather than semi-static start and stop points, the sooner they'll be able to accept and use tools for, and help people adapt to, dealing with a constant (and increasing) flow.

i don't think the flow can be shut down, or categorized and taxonomized with any degree of fianlity, so that it can be "managed" with conventional management tools andmindsets. I think we're forever more facing the "tight-loose" polarity of standards, procedures and quality (Six Sigma, etc.) forever confronting the need for creativity, conversation, "what do we do now" as the markets and customers keep on connecting, combining and re-combining.

And I think blogging is the early adaptation tool that allows and enables conversation in a workplace and world where much of what we do has been coded and integrated into one system or another. If it's not blogging, it will have to be something else.

And whatever it is, there will remain the challenge of legitimizing and validating the time it takes to converse, share meanings, create and innovate - the time that typically seesm "unproductive" to the eyes and minds of those bent on maximizing productivity.

Knowledge work ain't always task-based.

Denham / Jon, Thanks for your comments.

One specific example I'd like to run is is the Team Brief - Community Blog -- which Jon I see you tied to "Thoughtscape". http://www.henshall.com/blog/archives/000163.html

I believe there is also a distinction between the broad blogging community and a blogging community that starts "internal" to the business. Behavior in business may be influenced by the boss.. the ties and examples can be measured and made stronger. Understanding it as part of a community / team process is important to how the corp uses blogs. "Personal" blogs may be a distraction - when individual contributions are desired.

So the result can aim to:
1. improve feedback
2. augment inquiry and connections - learning
3. enable better questions to be asked
4. Speed

The organization itself has the potential to be one large syndicated blog. Although this is unlikely to be useful for many.

Thinking though some of the search techniques I saw John present at WFS http://www.henshall.com/blog/archives/000327.html may also help to reframe our understanding when applied to something so raw.

Not sure I'm adding to either of your thoughts!

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