There are two things that I am trying to do with the blogs/news feeds in my organisation. Firstly, I have this content (that I talked about previously), which is essentially me and some other guys opining about what is going on in IT with a fairly tight remit. Secondly, I’m experimenting with blogs/feeds as a means of communication, so I’m looking for different applications within the organisation.
With regards the former, the major challenge is getting and holding attention. I’m sure there are areas of commonality in attracting readers in the public domain, like how do I get people to read this, an internally. However, there is a lot that is different. Firstly, mine is the first blog, so I can’t rely on referrals. On the other hand I have a captive audience if I get the content right, because a) I know them and what should interest them and b) for them to find this information themselves would require them to trawl around the net and they don’t have time for that – so I can scratch an itch.
However, despite these advantages I’m not sure it’s happening. Today I met with one of our internal communications people so discuss this (although primarily to sell the idea of using news feeds for internal communications). It was actually a very useful meeting as she had some insights into the struggles senior management (my target audience) experience in trying to keep up to date technically. So I’ll be playing around with more ways of capturing their attention. For one, I’m going to poll them to find out what sources they use to find information, or even better, what sources they wish they had time to read and digest. I’ll also be asking them if they would value a face to face presentation on ‘the best of the blog content’ on a regular basis.
Another challenge is generating content. I’ve not been given extra time out to generate content, so I’m fitting it in between things. There are several other people in our IT department who should be blogging as well, but only one has taken it on. There is nothing I can do but offer the carrot that if they blog (useful stuff) they will get the recognition it deserves. I have no solution to this one but to grow the carrot by getting traffic to the blog.
So my hope is that solving the first problem (lack of attention) will also solve the second (lack of contributors).