Nick Finck with Digital Web and ZAAZ, Biz Stone at Google, and Mary Hodder are talking about how internal communications can be enhanced using blogs, wikis and more. (This time I'm going to copy my post as I work, because I just lost my last post! Very frustrating.)
Biz talks about using blogs inside Google: There's a team blog for everyone who works on the Blogger team. Posts can range from happy birthday to info on competitors, and posts are emailed to the team. People also use individual blogs to establish an identity within the company. It's the same thing as in the blogosphere, but on a much smaller scale.
I can write a post that says, "wouldn't it be cool if someone built xyz product?" and I'll come back from lunch to find an email from an engineer who says, "Great idea; I just built it." This is powerful stuff. My blog is a great way to reel in engineers and share ideas. And with a blog you can make yourself heard and make a name for yourself internally."
Nick talks about the company-wide Intranet blog at ZAAZ. Certain people are authorized to post on the blog, and they stick to certain topics per day. So Mondays are projects, Tuesdays are sales (like new deals signed, etc.), Wednesdays are operations, etc.
Mary contributes on blogs for personal, professional, acaemic and conferences & events. These blogs showcase her knowledge and she gets new business from them.
Moving on to wikis... this was interesting to me because I've never used a wiki but really need to familiarize myself with this technology. It's a great way for companies to aggregate and manage departmental, project, and company-wide knowledge.
Biz uses wikis at Google for collaborating on projects and for proposed projects (ideas). They use Sparrow Web, which came out of Xerox Park. It's like a wiki but is more formatted; looks interesting, and you can get a free 90-day trial if you want to play with it.
Nick uses wikis at ZAAZ for collaborative authoring and tribal knowledge (ie. best practices, resources, tools, FAQs, etc.) What happens when your expert engineer leaves the company? Wikis are a great way to maintain individual knowledge so that the entire company benefits. And it's infinitely more efficient than relying on emails floating around the company.