August 21, 2006

in the news on business blogging...

Atlanta biz bloggers score one for the home team in Business Weeks' small business column, where Toby Bloomberg and yours truly, along with Teresa Valdez Klein of Blog Business Summit, share our thinking on about internal blogs.

"TALKING SPACE." However, because blogs are bottom-up in nature, they sometimes require a change in thinking about employee communications, says Jeneane Sessum, a social media consultant based in Atlanta. The traditional top-down communication approach, where the CEO or HR manager pushes policies and procedures out to employees, can be subverted by an internal blog, which is communal by nature.

An employee [[should be "internal blog can"]] blog will serve more as a "...centralized talking space for company news and views, customer wins, etc.," Sessum explains. "Blogs put the nexus of control, at least from a communication standpoint, in the hands of employees, thereby empowering them. At the same time, because internal blogs remain within the firewall, they are a good venue for honest communication and collaboration in a relatively safe environment for businesses that are just getting used to the idea of blogging and may view it as sort of renegade."

Since I only half know what I'm talking about at any one time, I point you to Toby, my Atlanta blog buddy.

Bloomberg adds a word of caution: "Although it's not a top-down strategy, unless management and the company culture support this type of informal communication it is set to fail before the first word is posted. It's critical that the company provide training and encouragement, especially in the beginning stages."

"The lines of communication between departments can be difficult to maneuver. Blogs can be a means to easily share information that might not be perceived as relevant to one department, but critical to another. An added benefit is that informal team-building occurs naturally. There is ongoing personal communication, so people begin to know and understand folks from areas of the company they might not have had a lot of contact with."

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