As my own experience of maintaining a blog grew (along with other blogs in a collaborative effort, and talks about them in different contexts), I’ve came to see blogs as empowering people on their quest (their need) of continuous learning. In that sense blogs offer us the opportunity of refining our own lenses to filter all the information we came across according to our different expertise area of interests. But further, by allowing the «attraction» of more information just by «knitting the blog».
Puzzled? For someone who already maintains a blog, the answer is obvious after a certain period of time: by expliciting some of our thoughts (through posts) and relating them with other pieces of information (through links) we had semantic value, all according to our interests, that latter became indexed by search engines (like google) becoming part of the digital information ecosystem, being built everyday in the internet. The greatest part is being able to be found and engage in conversations that once where only possible according to our geographic mobility. In that sense we come to cross borders, scanning a richer and wider environment and filtering the information in manageable chunks that became part of our daily learning experience.
What does this have to do with blogging in Organizations? Everything! If you do not foster an environment for the adoption of blogging in the organizational context, your employees will be blogging somewhere else.
Remember how difficult it is to maintain a portal (either intranet and/or internet) updated? One of the main difficulties was «translating» useful information into digital arranged bits according to no one satisfaction (the beauties of living in democracies or was it technocracies).
That might not be the problem anymore if you come to meet, some of your employees labeled bloggers. For them is the normal way of working (remember when you first had e-mailers in your organization?). Like searching for experts on journals, in conferences, on the corridors, on the library, at a meeting, they also connect much further on their normal daily routines inside organizations – discussing with pears, making questions to experts, commenting on others works, making connection to useful resources (the open source movement has got a lot more than software), finding new solutions for old and new problems, but with a difference: they leave their traces so one can follow (or engage) with what they are doing.
It’s been a wonderful more than a year experience. To account for all the learning that occurred during this time would have been difficult, but gladly all is blogged in here for that purpose. All the people whose work I connected, all the conversations that took place, all the bits and the resources that allowed me to start this journey on understanding the value of weblogs in organizational contexts go much further that the once start up point of blogs as tools. They are much more than that. They are personal refining filters that connect us with the social fabric being built at a larger scale around information artefact's previously uncontexted.
In case you haven’t notice, this is my silly way of thanking all of you, part of my window to the world, for this last year’s learning. This is the real blended learning ;-)