Search This Blog

Monday, May 29, 2006

Is There A Blog in SEMI's Future?

An abbreviation of "weblog," blogs are websites that take the form of online journals, updated frequently with running commentary on one or many topics. A blog is the easiest way to provide regularly updated information to specific audiences. Consequently, blogs are replacing many intranets, knowledge management applications, and other info-sharing solutions in-front-of and behind corporate firewalls.

This blog was created in just a few hours to demonstrate how blogs could be used in SEMI. The posts below provide information on how blogs are used in both internal and external enterprise communications and contain links to articles and websites on enterprise blogging (the “dummy” links to the right are setup to provide an example of how a Marcom blog would link to dynamic content on schedules and tools that need to be shared SEMI-wide). I have added comments to the blog to showcase the interactive dialog that these tools enable and encourage.

Because the blog creation process is simpler than websites or print design, blogs enable organizations to easily publish a stream of constantly updated, linked content. Most blogs are directed towards external audiences and cover alerts, news clips, human interest stories, and opinion. Blogs are also increasingly being used as internal communications tools, often replacing Intranets, for organizations to update co-workers on progress, department activities, company news, and other proprietary and internal-interest information. What's very distinct to blogs is the personal voice in which these stories are told. Another key feature of blogs is their interactivity; responses to blog postings (and links to other blogs) create a dialog with readers and help nurture the formation of online communities. Blogs usually feature:
  • Brief entries running one-three paragraphs in length.
  • One or more columns on the page, with new content added to the largest column.
  • Sidebars linking to other blogs, previous posts or other comments.
  • Updates added at the top of the blog, so that entries read in reverse chronological order. This approach makes it easy for readers to find the most recent content.
  • Lots of links within blog entries (to other blogs, websites, and articles in your e-newsletter, as well as audio and video files). Some blog entries also feature photos.
  • Frequent updates, with updating schedules from several times daily to two-three times each week.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Internal Blogs

IBM encourages all 320,000+ employees worldwide to consider engaging actively in the practice of "blogging". At this time last year, IBM’s “blogosphere” featured 3,097 individual blogs, 9,000 registered users spanning 65 countries with a total of 26,203 entries and comments -- all of which has been put together strictly through word-of-mouth promotion. And this was just the pilot.

Unlike email, intranets and instant messaging, blogs let employees post comments that can be seen by many and mined for information at a later date. Unlike most corporate intranets, they're a bottoms-up approach to communication. "With blogs, you gain more, you hear more, you understand where things are going more," says Halley Suitt, who wrote a fictional case study on corporations and blogging for the Harvard Business Review. "Even better, you understand them faster."

According to Fortune, “the best part about blogging is that it's a conversation”

So do blogs hold the key to seamless sharing of collective corporate intelligence, the holy grail of knowledge management? “ A recent article in InfoWorld states, “Blogs...have moved past the flashy tech bling phase and are now settling in as core elements of the enterprise collaboration infrastructure. Blogs…are slowly making inroads at the enterprise level, as companies increasingly realize that the tight sense of community around them works well for collaboration as well as enhancing social bonds between employees.”

Many executives including the president of McDonald’s and Sun use blogs to keep employees informed, reinforce corporate values and solicit feedback from the workforce (look who's blogging).

Some Blog Facts

A new blog is created every second and the phenomenon has grown 60 times larger than it was three years ago, according to Technorati. Currently, 27.2 million blogs and 75,000 new ones created each day. At that rate, the blogosphere doubles about every 5.5 months.

There are about 1.2 million new posts daily, or 50,000 an hour.

The number of Chinese bloggers more than doubled during the first nine months of the year, driven primarily through aggressive marketing and product development by service providers, a research firm reported. As of the end of the third quarter, there were 33.4 million registered bloggers in China, compared with 14.75 million at the end of last year, Analysys International, a private Chinese market researcher said.