Blog Post #1: The Trade-Off of Sociability

Focusing on workplace blogs as a medium for employers and employees, as opposed to a social networking tool to open up and expand a dialogue between the company and the public, I disagree with “Dingra, the creator of WATConsult” who “[was convinced that blogs will be a standard corporate communication tool just like a website and email address” (Strother, Judith A., Zohra Fazal, and Melinda Millsap, 2009). Blogs will continue, for the time being, to remain secondary to forms of communication that allow the initiator to reach the recipient when necessary, to choose the specific parties to be engaged, and to do so quickly, such as through emails, phone, and face to face conversation. Intra-company blogs will not become a forum for employees to speak freely, if in an unprofessional manner, to vent their frustrations or blatant tell their superiors what they are doing wrong, like the general public has the tendency to do. A blog run by the corporation for intra-corporation use will act more like a bulletin board compared to the freedom consumers or the public has on an external blogs (Strother, Judith A., Zohra Fazal, and Melinda Millsap, 2009).

Blogs may serve as a forum to discuss possible changes, possible project to begin, or to disseminate information amongst a large group of employees, but unless each department or singular focus group has their own personal blog on which to add, exchange, and comment upon ideas freely, a corporate blog will not be as effective and efficient as forms of communication already in practice. Intra-companies’ blogs take too long to update as opposed to a quick text, email, or memo. Blogs are too public, the interactivity works against personal messages ( not those that should belong in an instant messaging session, but perhaps a directive given to an employee that is too be kept separate from the group until a certain level of completion). The company has more control over an internal blog than they would with an external one, but the control would continue to occur retrospectively should, as ABLOUNT4 pointed out (BLOG POST #1: WORKPLACE SOCIAL MEDIA AND BLOGGING ARE BENEFICIAL IN 2014), an employee speak ill of the company or another worker. This employee would suffer the consequences but not until it was pointed out to an administrator, perhaps after influencing others, something that may not happen when responding to email that are sent and viewed directly and immediately by coworkers and bosses

A blog is a form of social networking that encourages the participants to get involved by reading content relevant or necessary to them, commenting upon it, and sharing it. Blogs used internally will boost moral by providing more avenues for the employees to become involved in the company socially, superiors can received input from employees, and information, such as a the time and location of a company picnic can be viewed by everyone. However, blogs are less functional as way to disseminate information because those who use blogs the most expect to reap these social benefits, not to gain or add actual information. Blogs are also limited in their effectiveness by the number of employees who actively read, comment, and post useful entries.

Sources

Jackson, A; Yates, J.; Orlikowski, W., “Corporate Blogging: Building community through persistent digital talk,” System Sciences, 2007. HICSS 2007. 40th Annual Hawaii International Conference on , vol., no., pp.80,80, Jan. 2007

Strother, Judith A., Zohra Fazal, and Melinda Millsap. (2009). Legal and ethical issues of the corporate blogosphere. IEEE Transactions On Professional Communication, 52(3), 243-253

 

One thought on “Blog Post #1: The Trade-Off of Sociability”

  1. Companies use blogs for their own marketing to maintain relevance and reach new or ignorant audiences. Using a blog for employee participation in the company culture would require rules and a certain etiquette. The participants (employees and associates) would need to agree on a common purpose for the blog. For example, the employees may need to agree that the blog serve only as tool for teamwork and collaboration, or that may need to agree that it serve as a heuristic device where employees publish posts that engage interest and encourage thinking and inquiry beyond the everyday issues and practices of the office.

    I do agree though that a blog could not replace existing platforms for communication such as email. I also agree that employees would be mistaken to publicly engage a dialogue as you said, ” in an unprofessional manner, to vent their frustrations or blatant tell their superiors what they are doing wrong.” Such use of a blog would certainly result in terminations or administrative consequences for these employees.

    There still exists the possibility for employees, particularly younger or new hires such as interns or entry-level employees to engage with each other in a productive manner, or also to engage with the expertise and knowledge of their superiors. For example, superior associates of the company could require all interns and entry-level employees to subscribe to a company blog in which the more experienced employees and associates publish posts for the interns to read and engage. It would be a simultaneous, open, online mentoring program. The interns would learn from their superiors without having to experience hours worth of one-on-one time with them. It would be like reading your professor’s published works in addition to the required course materials towards the end of cultivating a more advanced understanding of your course curriculum. It could only help the participants. Explicit guidelines and an official etiquette would be necessary.

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