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Enterprise Weblogging Using weblogs for communication & information management Michael Angeles Overview Why weblogs? What are they good for? Roadmap Definitions, just in case I am assuming you know a little bit about weblogs Definition of weblogs

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Enterprise weblogging l.jpg

Enterprise Weblogging

Using weblogs for communication & information management

Michael Angeles


Overview l.jpg
Overview

  • Why weblogs?

  • What are they good for?

  • Roadmap

Lucent Technologies – ProprietaryUse pursuant to company instruction


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Definitions, just in case

  • I am assuming you know a little bit about weblogs

  • Definition of weblogs

    • A journal, usually updated frequently, sometimes categorized

    • Usually links to other sites

    • Can support comments and some stateless interaction

    • Provides an XML feed


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Scope of this talk

Yes

Not really

Mainly internal project weblogs

To some extent, personal information management blogs whose goals are to build individual and organizational understanding

I’m not talking about story telling to the outside world

Some project information can spill out into personal blogs; e.g. See Sun and Microsoft blogs


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Why weblogs?

Lucent Technologies – ProprietaryUse pursuant to company instruction


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The elevator pitch

  • Can your employees see themselves in the context of the whole company? Would more informed decisions be made if employees and leaders had access to internal news sources? Weblogs serve this need. By making internal websites simple to update, weblogs allow individuals and teams to maintain online journals that chronicle projects inside the company. These professional journals make it easy to produce and access internal news, providing context to the company — context that can profoundly affect decision making.  In this way, weblogs allow employees and leaders to make more informed decisions through increasing their awareness of internal news and events. –Lee Lefever


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The story is about people and their needs

  • Knowledge workers - feel greatest need to publish & share

    • Researchers, engineers, sales force

  • Communities of Practice (CoPs) – need to collaborate & share

    • Communities organized around projects, products or topics (e.g. Mobility)

  • Chief Information Organization (CIO) – concerned about standards

    • Enterprise Information Technology people

  • Executives – concerned about profitability, productivity, and cost savings

    • Officers, upper managers


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Why they emerged

  • Healthy information ecologies tend to be diverse

    • Diverse set set of user types

    • Diverse set of needs

    • Diverse set of technologies used to meet these needs

  • The need to publish and share is a common problem – it’s an organizational point of pain

    • Obstacles to publishing right now

    • Inflexibility of current tools

    • Cost and limited human resources


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Why they’re suitable for our current needs

  • The new KM is a bottom-up effort

    • Using story-telling at a personal level to socialize information and promote understanding

    • Shifting messaging power to the indidual

  • Weblogs support diverse ecologies

    • They allow some interaction (commenting, remote comments via XMLRPC-based trackbacks)

    • Enable information sharing (RSS/Atom feeds)

    • Keep control of publishing close to the owners

  • Weblog software arrives just in time

    • The software is priced right and is easy to use

  • Diversity is a good thing

    • See: Nardi, O’Day on information ecologies



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Interesting, but what are they good for?

Lucent Technologies – ProprietaryUse pursuant to company instruction


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Personal and group information management

  • Typical communication and information sharing questions related to projects:

    • How do we minimize gaps in the individual's understanding of the knowledge of the larger group?

    • How do we keep the group up to date on progress made by individuals, by the team as a whole?

    • How do we develop an organizational memory of processes leading to decisions?



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Case studies at Lucent

  • Information management

    • Subject matter weblogs

    • Document library weblog

    • Training weblog

  • Project management

    • Training weblog (really a hybrid)

    • Product requirements docs


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Simple examples: Subject blogs

Lucent Technologies – ProprietaryUse pursuant to company instruction


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Simple examples: Subject blogs

Lucent Technologies – ProprietaryUse pursuant to company instruction


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A more sophisticated example: A training weblog:

  • Needs:

    • Process for easily archiving output of face to face training

    • Method for easily communicating updates in timely and efficient manner

    • Place for discussion of changing Engineer’s needs and issues during roll out

  • Context:

    • Existing ocument repository was cumbersome and static, didn’t provide for interaction; no knowledge base for questions and answers

Project Summary

Project: System Training on new system

(Phase II of rollout; internationally and to smaller

customer teams)

Persona: Engineers

Problem: Communicating, sharing information, developing

knowledge and archive




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Site architecture

Published blog content

Forms for posting content

Instructions for posting content via web or email






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Tagging blog entries

Categorizing or tagging blog entries

Lucent Technologies – ProprietaryUse pursuant to company instruction


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Category and status tags

Status flag applied when question is answered

Category applied


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Taking tagging further: Paragraph-level flagging for Product Requirement Docs

Annotating at the paragraph level.

Example using Traction Software for collaborative authoring of a product requirements document. Note status flags.


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Weblogs a good fit for this project Requirement Docs

  • Low cost

  • Ease of use

  • Features and functionalitymatch needs

    • Distribution

    • Archiving

    • Interaction



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A roadmap for the long view Requirement Docs


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Now: Blogging software Requirement Docs

  • Are individuals blogging already?

  • What level of support can you provide?

  • Select solutions that match your information ecology

    • Centralized: Provide an enterprise blogging application

    • Decentralized: Individuals and CoP’s select and manage own blog publishing application


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Near term: Support information awareness Requirement Docs

  • Bloggers very often use their own news readers to track a lot of weblogs daily

  • Ability to stay abreast of internal/external news may drive frequency of publishing

  • Consider electronic alerting services for vendor purchased news (e.g. ABI, Factiva) and internal databases (e.g. document repositories) as RSS


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Example: RSS for all databases Requirement Docs

RSS, HTML, JS feeds of database search results

Lucent Technologies – ProprietaryUse pursuant to company instruction


Example social bookmarking l.jpg
Example: Social bookmarking Requirement Docs

Lucent Technologies – ProprietaryUse pursuant to company instruction


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Long term: Support findability of internal blogs Requirement Docs

  • Encourage bloggers to use full text feeds (with entire blog entry in the RSS feed)

  • Provide an enterprise RSS/Atom News reader for aggregation and archiving

    • Off the shelf: Newsgator (Enterprise)

    • Build your own or use open source software

  • Consider some classification of blog entries




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Relationships to entities in the enterprise Requirement Docs

Observe relationships

Enable expert finding and social behaviors


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Thank you. Requirement Docs

[email protected]

Lucent Technologies – ProprietaryUse pursuant to company instruction


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