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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Umm, yyyeah . . .

In class today we talked about the use of corporate blogs for both external and internal communicaiton. Hannel led a discussion about how companies are increasingly using blogs as a method of of communicating with consumers and other publics. But, isn't a blog in this sense a glorified virtual press room, nothing more than a "looky, looky what we've done!"? Who would read it? Probably only those who visity the news/media section of the website. Not that the news is always incredibly reliable, "fair," and "balanced," but at least news stations filter out most of the absolute crap. If I read company websites I've got to expend the my own valuable time to filter the "Target Corp to Webcast 4th Quarter and Year-End Earnings Conference Call" (crap) from "Cancer Vaccine Discovered" (holy crap!). Not interested.

Then we discussed company's use of blogging for internal communications. Arnold Kling says,

"If I were an executive in a large organization, I would encourage the organization to experiment with using blogs instead of other forms of communication. My guess is that blog filtering could enhance productivity by improving the relevance for workers of the information that they have to process."

Granted e-mail can be annoying, especially when your inbox is innundated with e-mails of no use to you. And, admittedly newsletters are often a lot of fluff. But, blogging increasing productivity? How do you figure? In even a 40 person company a person could likely spend 20 minutes just checking blogs to find any new news. And, if a person checks the blogs 3 times a day (which is hardly more timely of efficient than the instantaneous communication speed of e-mail) the person could have wasted a full hour just checking blogs. And, what are the odds that the majority are even of any relevance to the reader?

Bob Slydell: You see, what we're trying to do is get a feeling for how people spend their time at work so if you would, would you walk us through a typical day, for you?
Peter Gibbons: Yeah.
Bob Slydell: Great.
Peter Gibbons: Well, I generally come in at least fifteen minutes late, ah, I use the side door - that way Lumbergh can't see me, heh[. I check about 52 different Initech blogs. Most of them don't really apply to me. There's about six of them that usually include the same memo, which I could generally just get from Lumberg's Did You Get That Memo blog. But, I've got to check them all, ya know, just in case.]- after that I sorta space out for an hour.
Bob Porter: Da-uh? Space out?
Peter Gibbons: Yeah, I just stare at my desk, but it looks like I'm working. I do that for probably another hour after lunch too, [Then I check the blogs again. Just to see if something has changed since morning. usually by that point I've missed a memo or two] I'd say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work.
(Office Space)

How's that for company productivity?

*Crossposted at Look to the Sky


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