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Blogging and Organizational Communication « from the gut

I told myself I would never blog about blogging. It’s like watching a movie about the making of a movie. To the outsider, it just seems like self-gratification that you’d rather not watch. In this case, at least you’re not paying for it.

I had a conversation with a colleague today about blogging. This person is potentially very influential in our organization and I see blogging as a way for her share her ideas “through education not mandate.” (An excellent hook from Jim Phelps.)

The beauty of the blog is that it’s a two-way discussion. So in addition to us hearing this colleague’s perspective on, in this case, technology; others can give feedback on what they think as well.

Let’s say that my coworker decides that the architectural decisions I’ve made are crap. For example, my decision to use Informatica PowerExchange to populate an ODS. (registration required) And I get on my blog and talk about how wonderful it is. The blog gives my colleague a forum to express his differing view. In fact, if he wishes to hide his identity, he can post anonymously. His feedback gives me the opportunity to address the issue out in the open. Because chances are there are other people who might agree with his view.

Jim Phelps’ had a recent discussion that illustrates this beautifully. A student at Stanford did a research project to use Google results to rank undergraduate schools. Jim blogged about it and then emailed a bunch of his colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison about the study. There were a lot of flaws in the research, but it was ultimately a pretty cool project. Jim was able to turn this criticism into a healthy discussion about his school’s web presence.

If you’re going to make a mistake, make it out in the open. Communication is a good antidote to suspicion.

I know I’m being a little naive about the social dynamics in the workplace. And I have to confess that my ulterior motive in getting coworkers to blog is that I am interested in what they’re working on and what they’re planning. But I see a lot of potential in blogging to improve communication in our organization.

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One Response to “Blogging and Organizational Communication”

  1. Shane says:

    I discussed how blogging improves interpersonal communication. But I also thought of an example how blogging improves intrapersonal communication as well.

    I have a friend who teaches high school math in the inner city. One of his students has a MySpace account where she vents on, among other things, the lessons in his class. Of course, the student doesn’t know he’s reading, so her blog gives him unfiltered feedback on his teaching.

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