Saturday, May 24, 2003

Why I like blogging

There’s no single answer to the question, “Why do you blog?” But the last week has certainly given me some very personal reasons for enjoying it: unsolicited positive feedback from a variety of sources.

Ernie thanks me for talking about an important issue, Rory thanks me for my writing, Jerry says I’m pretty smart for a young ‘un, and Jonas thinks I’m cool. (Those that know me can refrain from commenting on that last point: Jonas is obviously quite an astute observer, and one whose opinion carries a lot of weight here at tins.)

I had lunch with a long-time acquaintance yesterday who was asking about blogs. I repeated a point I’ve made here before – the personal relationships that have formed and strengthened as a result of my blogging have been by far the most valuable result of maintaining this site. It’s quite a feeling to show up in a new city and already have someone who knows you well – even though you’ve not met each other.

I got to thinking about this, and realized that it’s this aspect – which I think is often under-represented when discussing blogs – that has the most potential for blogging in organizations. I don’t work in a large enough organization for it to apply to me (we have 120 employees, and we’re almost all in one location). But when I look at how blogging is flourishing at Microsoft (as just one example), it occurs to me that this could have a dramatic impact on how employees learn from each other, appreciate each other’s contributions, and feel connected to the larger organization.

Many of us have written at length about the benefits of knowledge sharing – but for that model to work it requires near-total participation by all employees. What if the real benefit of enterprise blogging is “just” relationship building? Seems to me there are still some dramatic opportunities for tangible benefits to the organization.

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