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Trend6

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T R E N D S

That will Change Your Intranet

 

Trend 6: Blogs come and go but RSS will remain

 

Blogs were arguably the most significant web phenomenon of 2005. Everybody from presidential nominees to the local postman is blogging these days. Companieslike Sun Microsystems, Google and Maytag have been caught in the hype and have enthusiastically set up both customer-facing blogs and internal-facing ones too. But will employee blogs last? Will there be even more blogs in the next year?

 

Some employee blogs will last, but, unfortunately, most won’t. A recent study once again confirmed that corporate blogs have not been embraced by senior executives. Many companies that enthusiastically set up employee blogs ignored the two most important ingredients for blogging success. The first is that the blogger needs to have something important and unique to say. According to a recent survey by America Online, the most popular blogs are the most personal and opinionated ones. Most organizations have cultures that subconsciously encourage information hoarding and group think. These organizations will find that their employees are reluctant to share their knowledge and personal insights unless they see tangible benefits to doing so. As a result, most employee blogs will be superficial and boring unless, of course, they are anonymous.

 

The other ingredient that drives blogging success is independence. The most successful bloggers are the ones who don’t feel censored. Company cultures often force employees to be extremely self-aware and reluctant to say or do anything that may put them at odds with the official order. This, too, will limit the success of blogs in the enterprise workplace. The people who have something really important to say will be the ones most reluctant to say it.

 

The technology to watch is Really Simple Syndication (RSS) and Atom. Companies that embrace RSS as a content format and use it to publish information to employees will have far greater success than with blogging alone. Enabling employees to subscribe to subject and department specific RSS feeds and then view them through readers will enable more targeted, community-focused conversations in the workplace. And the ease with which postings can be viewed in an RSS reader will encourage more employees to participate. For RSS to be adopted, however, companies will have to allow employees to subscribe to both internal and external RSS feeds. If this happens, then, in some companies, blogging combined with wide adoption of RSS readers will become even more relevant than the company intranet. Microsoft, Google, and Apple have far reaching visions for RSS and Atom, including the ability to syndicate calendar items or to-do items. Apple has leveraged RSS enclosures to make podcasts possible.

 

External Resources

 

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