In their latest issue, Fast Company has an interesting article about blogging for business – how companies are using both public and private blogs to increase communication with customers, encourage better internal communication, and market new products.
What I found particularly fascinating was the idea of using an internal blog in business to share ideas and move projects along faster:
“Tiny 10e20, a Web design firm in Brooklyn, recently began requiring employees to post updates on their progress to a blog twice a day. Within the first six weeks, 10 projects were turned in early. Having a central repository for information helped–but so did the added scrutiny that came from letting everyone see how a project was progressing.”
At first, the question for me was, “how is this different than email updates?” In thinking more about it, though, it really does seem better than email, even for small companies. Emails are a temporary medium. If they make it through all of the spam filters everyone is required to use these days, they are likely to be ignored, deleted, or lost in the mess that is most people’s inbox. Even if the emails are read, it is up to the recipient to decide how to file them and if the should be filed and kept at all. On top of all that, conversation threads in email become unwieldy and difficult to track.
Given the current state of email, blogs for sharing information about current projects makes much more sense. Conversation threads are easily organized, anyone in an organization can get an update on a project whenever they want, and blogs are more likely to solicit internal feedback that you may not have received otherwise.
The idea of public accountability is also interesting. When everyone in the company knows the current status of a project, there is more incentive to get it done, get it done well, and get it done on time.
It will be interesting to see if the small business world embraces this management style.