Via Soul Soup, a CIO Magazine on the 7 reasons your organization needs an internal blog:
1. Your enterprise email applications aren't easy to search.
2. Your email is lost in the eye of the "cc" storm.
3. Ex-employees CAN take it with them.
4. Too much wasted time checking in with colleagues.
5. With blogs, the humble and egotist both win.
6. Organizational openness and accountability.
7. People might already be using them.
Read the article for the details.
I would add a couple of thoughts:
- To address issues like making knowledge more available to employees, a wiki is also a good solution. In some cases it might be an even better solution, depending on the kinds of knowledge you're trying to share and organize.
- On point 1, regarding the searchability of email--one of the primary reasons I use gmail is because I can tag and search. One of the most frustrating things to me about Outlook was the amount of time I spent trying to find a particular email in the endless files I'd set up. By switching to gmail, I suspect I've saved myself a ton of time. Gmail's tagging capability doesn't make email more accessible to other people in my organization, but it certainly makes my management of my own personal knowledge a lot easier. (Also check out this article on how to turn gmail into your "personal nerve center")
- For those organizations that are interested in blogging, but nervous about doing so for the "public," setting up an internal blog is a great way to get into blogging on a more limited basis in a "safer" environment.
On a related note, in this Information Week article on Proctor and Gamble's attempt to incorporate Web 2.0 tools into their enterprise, Joe Schueller (who's spearheading P&G's efforts) argues that email is the biggest barrier to adoption of tools like blogs and wikis.
"As a sender of an e-mail, I control the agenda of everyone around me," Schueller says. E-mailers decide who has permission to read a message, and the Reply To All button ensures that peripheral participants will be prompted long after they have lost all interest. Blogs, in contrast, beg for comments from those most interested. Schueller also faces the harrumphing of employees who see anything other than e-mail as an addition to their workloads. "We consistently hear that information posted to the intranet is incremental work," he says.
Interesting, given that email is actually an inefficient way to manage knowledge. Then again, maybe the problem is that people don't see knowledge management as being important. I've long thought that for many people, email is primarily a means to cover their butts (witness the endless cc list), not to actually share or grow knowledge. I also think that there is something to the command and control aspect of email, as described by Schueller. Or maybe I'm just being crabby this morning.