In a column (Blogs are HUGE) at the Macromedia site, Ed Krimen discussed the way they are using blogs to promote their products:
While most of the feedback about the blogs has been positive, there has been some concerned feedback, especially from the blogging community. Companies like Macromedia don’t normally use blogs to communicate with customers.
Most the discussion of corporate (or enterprise) blogging has been about internal knowledge sharing, but this idea of using the blog medium as a corporate communications vehicle bears some thought. Does it coopt the blog channel? Are there trust issues? Do you feel like you’re reading an advertisement? What if a corporate blogger writes something that contradicts the company’s messaging? Will we start having to check affiliations when reading a new blog?
Meanwhile, I think I’d better start reading Matt Brown’s Dreamweaver Blog.
Rick Klau links to thedownsideofknowledgemanagement.com, regarding the hurdles involved in using blogs for KM (or “knowledge sharing”), adding:
In any event, I like the recognition that there’s more to KM than just software – that unless someone is committed, responsible and incented to make the thing work, it will be hard to succeed.
BTW, I keep fiddling with the title of this category. It’s gone from KnowledgeMgmt (ugly), to KnowAge (lame), to KnowHow (not as lame).
Michael Helfrich of Groove Networks recounts a telling exchange with a client from his days at the Lotus/IBM Knowledge Management project:
“You mean that one of my supply chain people could share our schedule data with a supplier?” he asked. “Sure, but they could do that with email, or the phone too. Heck, they could do a screen shot of their SAP GUI and fax the thing too couldn’t they?” I offered.
For several years now I’ve been slowly spec’ing out an ideal personal publishing platform for posting a peck of pickled peppers…. Uh, sorry. No, actually I mean a system with a well designed content database at the core and a great deal of flexibility both in how to submit content (client, web, email, handheld, wireless?) and an equal degree of flexibility about how to stream or syndicate the content out.
I sometimes visualize it as a concentric series of spheres with the writer at the center. the innermost sphere is private (well, the infra-innermost sphere isn’t even committed to electronoc and possibly not written down at all, but I’m talking about a technology solution here), your notes, working documents, letters, confessions, etc.
Next out would be something like personal correspondence, such as email to friends and family. Then you might have a sphere for a certain wider community of trusted colleagues, acquaintances, or other like-minded folk. Around here might be some fee-based or affiliation-based content.
Finally, there’d be the ultra-outermost sphere where this like this blog appear, completely in public, to be read by anybody. I’d like it if people could subscribe to the feed and/or get it via email. I’d also like to easily mirror or bounce public content to other locations. That last wish is being discussed at Drop.org, and similar discussions came up there a few months ago and about a year ago as well.
I’ve gathered user requirements and helped design user interfaces, custom content-management systems, information architectures, knowledge repositories and stuff like that, but I’m not much of a coder (been working on learning PHP/MySQL for about six months now), so I’ve never expected to build this PEP project of mine. It’s also clear to me that many of the elements I have in mind are already available in one form or another, on one platform or another, using one or another set of standards.
The problem is that nothing (yet) covers all my bases, or even all of the essential facets of PEP, and the many overlapping partial solutions to not yet interoperate well enough for a klutz like me to be able to hack together.
Eventually someone will solve the constituent problems for me or I’ll get it together on my own. In the meantime, I’ve tried not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good and just started blathering into my Blogger, LiveJournal, MovableType, PHP-Nuke, and now Radio blogs, expecting that I can migrate where I need to go once I figure it out.
Say, does Radio offer any link management features? I realize that the blog model says that only the latest or most-linked-to sites are of interest, but it seems that categorizing these links (beyond simply the category/channels built into Radio) might be worthwhile. For one thing, I could tell if I had already cited a link (such as the bare bones Blogs of Note started by the author of the article I just mentioned).
I know I can build a hierarchy of stories or raw pages, but isn’t the point here automating the tedium out of web publishing? (Or one of the points, at least?) I know I can build a link farm using PHP-Nuke, but that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms.