Peligro, bloggers dentro de la empresa

by Julen

Me permito hacer un copi-pego total de este magnífico artículo de Innovation Creators, un blog que cada día me gusta más. Se trata de Bloggers are dangerous y repasa lo que para mí es realidad, a día de hoy, en una inmensa mayoría de nuestras empresas.

Lo digo teniendo en cuenta que en este país hay un tejido muy amplio de pequeñas y medianas empresas. Colócate en una empresa industrial de 150 personas, con una presión bestial para reducir sus costes porque, si no, ya sabe el futuro que le espera. Ahí, ¿qué pinta un blogger? Lee y saca tus conclusiones.

Por cierto, me encanta la frase «Blogs don’t cause problems, people do». Eso sí, quizá cada vez más el blog puede ser una seña de identidad… en este mundo transparente que nos acompaña.

Reproducción completa del artículo (los textos en negrita son del que suscribe)

There are some serious common misconceptions about Bloggers within the Enterprise.

Many company executives see bloggers almost as a roving band of gangsters. Forbes wrote about «Attack of the Blogs«.

It is all true. Bloggers even have gang hand signs. Sean Bonner, curator of the sixspace gallery came up with the original gang sign on September 23, 2005. Boing Boing covered the story, complete with the blog T-shirt war that followed. The poster above gives a more detailed view into the intricate workings of the blogger underworld.

Blogs don’t cause problems, people do

Yes… I am kidding. Blogs are just a new communication tool. They are little different from email, instant messaging, Blackberries, or the phone. They are more powerful in some ways, because they can be cross-linked, tagged and searched. But, blogs within the enterprise, and behind the firewall do not represent a gang taking over the organization any more than the Blackberry represents a threat. In enterprise environment, blogs, wikis and all Enterprise Web 2.0 tools will simply be used to get work done. Generally, these new productivity tools will make things more efficient.

This may sound like a ridiculously simple and obvious thing to say, however, there are senior executives out there who are genuinely afraid of using blogs within the enterprise.

These executives say things like:

  1. What if the things people post in their internal blogs are wrong?
  2. Shouldn’t we vet every entry?
  3. What if the use of blogs spreads virally within the company?
  4. What if people want to start using other Web 2.0 tools, or different types of blogs?

The answers are really simple:

  1. What if the things people say on phone calls and write in internal emails are wrong? If you don’t have a process to make sure that your people are smart enough to handle problems, then you have bigger issues. In the end, blogs will actually help to expose the spread of erroneous information. You need to read every email to catch these mistakes today. With an internal blogging system, all employees can help in the search for these mistakes.
  2. Do you vet every email and phone call?
  3. If the use of blogs spreads virally within your company, that means the blogs are helping people to get their work done. In other words, it is a good thing.
  4. The point behind Web 2.0 is to loosely couple systems, and instead of trying to set up one central be-all and end-all system, focus on setting simple standards. Blogs have taken off not because everyone uses the same kind of blog, but instead because all blogs adhere to simple standards, such as HTML for content display, and RSS or ATOM for fees.

Do not aim for one Universal Enterprise web 2.0 platform

I have recently heard senior technology executives say «We can’t have everyone running around using different systems. We need to get everyone within the company to use one tool.»

That sounds nice. But it is nonsense. In fact, it proves that the technology executive is only concerned about their little world in IT, and it demonstrates that they are completely unaware of the risks and returns associated with not using the right solution for each particular job within a company.

MS Word can do tables. You can actually calculate a rudimentary table within PowerPoint. But if you need to build a fairly complex piece of mathematical analysis, you use Excel. If you need to do a really complicated one, you use SAS or MatLab.

By forcing the use of a single enterprise blog, wiki or Web 2.0 platform, IT necessarily hobbles the entire organization, and effectively forces them to do all their work in MS Word.

The downside for Enterprise IT is that they may have to install a few extra systems. Compared to the potential benefit, that cost is irrelevant.

If all those «dangerous» bloggers, each with their own type of server software, can agree on standards and work together shouldn’t Enterprise IT be able to figure out how to do the same thing?

So, how should you buy an enterprise Web 2.0 system? The same rules apply, regardless of whether it is a read/write intranet solution, such as iUpload, or a wiki only solution, like SocialText, or a social bookmarking tool, a CRM system such as SugarCRM.

  1. Pick a system that plugs into your existing directory server. For example, LDAP, AD or SXIP.
  2. Develop generalized standards for back-up. Recognize you will be dealing with a range of operating systems and a range of databases. However, the basic principals for back-up should be similar for each.
  3. Select tools that play nice. Choose systems that conform to open standards such as RSS, ATOM, XHTML, MetaWeblog API and microformats.
  4. Select tools that are flexible and give you the power to define templates for things such as blog types. In other words, you need a system that can be configured as you learn to use it.
  5. Go with proven Internet winners. If, for example, a blogging platform can demonstrate that it has millions of users on the open Internet, that means that many ease of use issues have already been dealt with, and problems have been solved. That is not the case for a hacked together blogging tack-on to an old CMS tool or portal tool. Those Web 1.0 systems were not designed s productivity tools for the average knowledge worker. Instead, the innovation in terms of ease of use is being done in new Enterprise Web 2.0 start-ups. That ease of use leads to broad adoption and participation. In the end, broad adoption and participation are critical to the success of any new read/write Intranet initiative.

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