Getting comfortable blogging at work

June 14, 2008

I work at a rather conservative company, so when we upgraded to the SharePoint version that supports blogs, I didn’t think much about it. But last week, due in part to a SharePoint presentation by Microsoft’s Chris Norred at the STC Summit, I made a 180° turn, and now I’m blogging every day at work.
Here’s why: 

Visibility. 
Yeah, I’m like most of you out there, looking for recognition, respect, and rock solid credentials that will protect me from the next reorganization. By blogging about our activities, challenges, innovations, successes, and strategies, we have a chance to tell our story in our own words. 

Currently only my team and my manager are reading the blog, but I’ve made it accessible to every employee. Viral marketing will drive traffic to my site, right? I’m a patient person. Soon IT will roll out SharePoint across the enterprise and tout its value as a collaboration tool. My blog can set the example. That’s incentive enough to generate quality content on a regular basis.

Communication.
Tech comm employees are all part-time contractors or “temporary” workers who work mostly from home or another office. We tend to work in silos and I struggle to find ways make us a “team.” I blog about what we’re working on, what’s happening at the company, and topics that I think would be of interest. This week I wrote a two-part post on Camtasia, explaining why we use it instead of Captivate or Mimic, the benefits, the drawbacks, and why I wanted everyone to think about using it more. 

Everyone on the team can post to the blog, but so far no one else has.
Well, it’s only been a week. 

Collaboration. 
I’d like the blog to be a place where we share best practices, lessons learned, and new ideas. Since everyone is working on very different projects, there’s a tendency for each person to invent their own wheel. Maybe this will be a way to share a bit more. 

Integrity. 
The blog is a way to keep me honest. If I write, “I’m going to hold weekly one-on-one meetings with everyone on the team,” then, by God, I’d sure better do it. Eventually our customers may contribute and we want to have an open discussion with them about the documentation and training we provide. 

Fun. 
Work is work, but it doesn’t have to be a grind. Our group enjoys communicating and the blog provides a outlet for us to talk about what we do best in a (relatively) unfettered forum. Next week, I’m running what I hope will be the first of several interviews with people from other departments who work in our area. The first question is “Who are those people sitting in the ‘bullpen’ on the 5th floor and what are they doing?” This means the person I’m interviewing will start reading my blog and maybe all those people indexing blueprints in the bullpen will read it, too. 

 

I’d like to hear from those of you who have been blogging at work. My work blog will never be public like Lindsey’s at Blackbaud (another strong influence on my decision to blog at work), but that’s why I plan to keep Don’t Call Me Tina active for the foreseeable future.