Internal blogs – how social media is helping to create meaning

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Yet again I got the question “how many companies in Denmark are blogging?”. I really can’t tell. First of all because I don’t know of a place to search for danish corporate blogs and secondly because if I found it, the number still wouldn’t be right as the technology is used for a number of things. One of them is the internal organizational use of blogs. In STAGIS we have been talking about “organizational blogs” with the implicit idea of these blogs being internal and for the organization itself. And these “closed” platforms of conversation can be rather difficult to account for. Both by numbers and content.

Let me give you an example though:

I’ve just been planning a strategy-project with a client and one of the challenges is that the area of business that the strategy is about crosses all boundaries of the organization. A couple of consultants in sales are working on it, several managers, a project manager, a bunch of people in customer service, a lot of technicians and distribution-people (who are actually going to do the work that everyone else is discussing on their behalf), several people in the administration and the list goes on for ever. So how do you create a place that can communicate and facilitate dialogue about the strategic challenges and that is available to all these people at once? Well, I suggested a blog so we’re trying to build one into the project. What’s more is that everyone in the organization can get involved, write up their ideas, share photos or links etc. And as no-one in the organization knows exactly how the area of business we are working with is really doing, what went well, what went wrong etc this is a chance to share and get more of a group-understanding of the business-area.

Etienne Wenger has written quite a bit on communities of practice which is one of the terms that are used when the debate is about the use of social software (like blogs and wikis as an example) as platforms for sharing and learning from colleagues or others that you share practice with (being business, a hobby etc.).

About those numbers… Let me just get back on that!