b4b2007: social software in business (internal comms)

blogging4business – london
Originally uploaded by robinhamman.

Lee Bryant from social software consultancy Headshift is leading the second panel of the morning, which includes Olivier Creiche from Six Apart.

Olivier’s first slide quotes Bob Lutz, Vice Chairman, GM:

“To blog or not to blog? The answer, simply enough, is to blog. No better opportunity exists to engage in an open dialog and exhcnage of ideas with customers and potential customers”

What are companies using blogs for?

  • Web Publishing – apparently the UK media is way ahead of those elsewhere
  • Internal Communication – Olivier’s case study is Cirtix, a fast moving technology company with new employees coming in and out the door all the time. They needed a way to “protect the intellectual property of the company” and found that using a blog is a much better way to do that then people’s inboxes. AEP, a much larger company, did the same – “The goal is to get to the point when every employee has their own blog”.
  • Marketing and Community – case study Arcelor/Mittal blog to communicate outside the organisation, in an open and transparent way, with their employees, investors and other stakeholders in and outside the merging companies.
  • We later hear from a lawyer whose large (2000+ staff) firm uses blogs for corporate communication and even gets lawyers using more advanced tools like RSS and from a representative from Reed Business Publishing Information which is also using blogs internally.

    Might, the panel is asked, these tools lead to cliques or the Balkanisation of the corporation? Lee Bryant doesn’t think so. It actually helps people organise around ideas, themes and projects.

    Mike Butcher from mBites asked if the move from intranet pages and databases to blogs and wikis means that all that old content is lost. The lawyer responds that, yes, his organisation had 33,000 pages of unstructured information that no one could find. People will have to go back and get the good content, the stuff that’s useable. But as they move, the benefit is that the users of the systems, lawyers, are able to meet and work with each other in new ways. And that outweighs the time and effort that it’s taken.

    Update: Just spotted this good live blogged roundup of the session.


    1. Reed Business Information, not Reed Business Publishing. We haven’t been the latter for over five years now…

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