Partisans of blogging argue that there are many potential business applications of the technology (and they discuss these applications in their blogs!). But I believe that blogging falls into the unproven category ... at the moment it's a tool for individuals to express their somewhat random musings. I know of no organization in which the benefits of blogging have been measured. Perhaps the biggest problem for blogging is the time it takes to read and write blogs. If anything this tool has detracted from productivity, not increased it. ... Bill Ives argues that his own blog is really a vehicle for managing his own personal knowledge. If this particular use of blogs caught on broadly, it could represent a new approach to organizational knowledge management.Yikes! This tool has "detracted from productivity." It's interesting that earlier in the book Davenport was careful to say that he really wasn't talking productivity as much as he was talking about performance and results.
It's somewhat shocking for me to see him miss the value proposition of Blogging as a Learning and Networking tool. I agree with Bill Ives that a blog, properly used, can become an integral part of your personal work and learning environment.
Also there's some irony here. Later in the book, Davenport discusses the importance of the use of networks as part of problem solving. He even discusses the use of social software. But somehow he doesn't get that blogging is a fantastic networking tool. And ironically:
The person he uses as his example, Bill Ives, I've met through blogging!!!Yes, it's a weak tie. But certainly is good enough that I'd invite him to have a beer anytime I was in the neighborhood and absolutely if I have a question that falls in Bill's areas of expertise, I would ask him his thoughts. Better yet, I might ask in my blog, and there's a fair chance he might respond.
Finally, as people begin to blog and it captures their ideas, thoughts, what they've read, done, etc. it becomes a wonderful resource for any organization to leverage as part of larger knowledge management solutions. If anyone should recognize this, you would think that Davenport would.
Overall, it was disappointing to see this paragraph. This also tells me that it's going to be hard to convince people of the value of blogging if Thomas Davenport sees it as a detractor.