Getting Indian corporates interested in Intranet and Internet Weblogs

Here is an interesting post from Conversations with Dina

I’ve only just returned from a meeting with a company that is more ‘open’ than many others to the idea of using social software tools like blogs, both in their intranet and externally. And as i was driving back – i was thinking that how wonderful it would be to be able to brainstorm with other bloggers interested in this area on some of the barriers or stumbling blocks – and work out possible solutions or directions forward. There is much that i can already tap into in terms of the technology involved – but very little that makes me confident about really ‘motivating’ them to start.

Here is what I posted as a reply to that:

my two bits on this:

1. Blogs can be used for boundary spanning activities. People in the PR department can use it very effectively to understand the consumers and reach out to them. Now the measures that companies use to measure the output/results from PR activities can also be used in the cases where blogs are being used. These measures can be related to the awareness about the service/product or any new campaign. Example: Some of the microsoft employees are using blogs to create positive image of their products and company.

2. Blogs can be used by the Product/Service development department to gain information about the market perception and what consumer wants. Example: Microsoft employees are actively seeking information which can be used for developing their new OS – Longhorn. Now how much company was ready to pay for this information (without using the blogs) is the value that can be attributed to the use of blogs.

3. Blogs can be used for managing corporate communication like newsletters, etc. In this form these newsletters will become more active rather than reach the trash bin month after month. Money saved in printing the newsletters and other corporate communication leaflets can be added to the contribution made by corporate blogs.

I think this much of money saved or earned through blogs is enough to justify its implementation in corporate environment. Let us know how the meeting works out. All the best.

Some after thoughts:

1. Some related thoughts from the often quoted and misquoted discussion on “IT doesn’t Matter“. I think how a technology is implemented is also very important. It is just not the technology but the whole package of implementing it in a context. The process of implementing it can make a huge difference. Some companies have been able to use technology (like amazon) to their benefit whereas others have not been able to gain that much mind share (like barnes and noble). Now the technology used in both the cases is the same but how it has been implemented makes a difference between a success and a failure. This is true not only in the case of IT but any other technology as well, for example, nuclear science, gene technology, etc.

2. Second companies make a mistake of using technology to drive the market. I think it is not the technology but the consumers that drive the market (the famous consumer is the king argument). As long as we are using technology to fulfill consumers’ wants we are safe but when we try to create something new (non-existent want or unexplored need) then either we can make huge profits or we might go down the tube, and this is the risk that companies should be willing to take without blaming the technology after the fiasco.