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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

New Debate on Value of Blogs and Wikis in the Enterprise

There's some conversation going on around whether blogs provide value in the Enterprise. In Blog? I don't need no stinkin' blog!, Jim Lee tells us:

Now let me go on record to say that I do believe that both blogs and wikis have some value—just not business value—at least not yet.
He asks WIIFM and for the reader and doesn't feel there's value. Jack Vinson responds with Do blogs fit in the enterprise? and has a lot of really good points around blogging. His post is definitely worth reading and thinking about. For example:
People want to blog in enterprises. People are blogging in enterprises. Why? I don't think people are interested in the minutiae of their colleagues' lives. They don't have the time or inclination to read that kind of material. But what is interesting? People read and respond to topics that are relevant to their interests -- their work, their passions. Let's say someone is blogging about a particularly interesting client conversation. Someone else could see it and recount their own, similar experience with a resolution - either on their own blog or in email back to the first person. Or, they might recount the story over lunch and find connections to several other related stories. These then make it back as references to relevant materials in the corporate repository, references to people who have had similar experiences.
This is a topic that's been discussed quite a bit before by folks in our world. A tongue-in-cheek summary can be found at: Top Ten Reasons To Blog and Top Ten Not to Blog. But, I would want to make sure that Jim understands two critical points about blogging.
  1. WIIFM - Why did teachers force you to write in school? Because the act of composition commits the learning. Take heed when people tell you that they've learned more via blogging than through any other means. I feel exactly the same way. I get value even without much interaction.
  2. You do get conversation and tremendous value from this. Maybe Jim doesn't want the value of this conversation around blogging. But we are all getting value from his perspective - because likely he echoes what others are thinking.

1 comment:

Jesse Ezell said...

His post starts with the assumption that blog = diary, and from that assumption he draws his conclusion. You start with the assumption that blog = conversation, and from that assumption you draw your conclusion.

Both assumptions are correct in cerrtain situations, but the blogs that actually provide value are definately the ones that start with the assumption that the blog is a conversation, not a diary.