I went today to the Blog and Social Media Forum in London. Overall impression: useful, but an over emphasis on blogging to the detriment of other social technologies. I guess this isn't too surprising, as it probably is the easiest one to relate to. Of course, it is made the event more directly applicable to my current activity in this space.
So what key messages did I take away:
- It would appear that every organisation that has adopted blogging has seen it introduced covertly. Even Euan Semple
admittedsaid that this was the case at the BBC despite his position as Head of Knowledge Management. Critical mass is an ellusive quantity that will come at some point. Many people mentioned a year before it really took off. I feel much better about what I'm doing, in fact I am quite determined to send out the email currently sat with the IT Director myself and forget the more 'official' stamp of approval that I was seeking.
- ROI is a silly question, don't prejudge what will emerge from connecting people. Business has always been done through relationships. The return will come through rebuilding relationships. Anyway, it's so cheap to set up. I've set up our blogging platform with SSO integrated to Active Directory for less than £400. How much ROI do you need for that cost? One of the case studies had spent £30,000 on an experiment, without any commitment to carrying on with the same software to full implementation. I think that's way too much, complete overkill.
- The question that I have been asked several times is 'Where am I supposed to find the time?'. This seems to be a common theme. People shouldn't look at blogging, or reading blogs as an add on to the day. Do they consider that conversations at the coffee machine are non-productive? Do they make time for that? How much unproductive time is spent in meetings? Networking/building relationships is a proven business enabler.
There is no turning back.