KM Component 39 – Blogs and Blogging
Blogs are websites where posts are created (such as entries in a journal or diary), and displayed in a reverse chronological order; they often provide commentary or news on a particular subject.
Some function as personal online diaries or logbooks. Blogs combine text, images, and links to other blogs and websites. They typically provide archives in calendar form, local search, syndication feeds, reader comment posting, trackback links from other blogs, blogroll links to other recommended blogs, and categories of posts tagged for retrieval by topic.
Blogs are a way of empowering users to express their ideas, record their thinking, and link to others who are doing the same. Organizations can use blogs to communicate, solicit comments, and engage in online conversations. Blogs serve as a good archive of communications, since each post is stored by date, and it is possible to search just within a specific blog to find previous posts.
For knowledge management, blogs are good tools for communications, personal knowledge management, and social networks. As a communications tool, they are available online, can be easily searched, and can be syndicated and subscribed to using RSS or other feeds.
For personal knowledge management, blogs offer a way of keeping a journal of insights, techniques, pointers, and contacts. They are the modern version of lab notebooks and can be easily shared with others to allow them to take advantage of what the blogger has recorded.
For social networks, blogs provide a way to connect those with ideas on related topics. Features typically used in blogs that enable these connections include blogrolls linking to other blogs, comment entry forms to allow others to respond to blog posts, and trackbacks linking to other blogs that reference blog posts.
Blogs can eliminate the need for websites and newsletters, which may be costlier to maintain. Individual departments can each be given their own blogs, which can feature a photo of the department manager and link to the organization chart. News items can be entered as blog posts, and subscriptions can be offered as RSS feeds. Separate website maintainers and newsletter editors are thus no longer needed.
External blogs offer a way for customers and partners to interact with an organization. By inviting comments on external blogs and replying to those comments, an organization can demonstrate its transparency, responsiveness, and customer awareness. It can also receive useful suggestions, timely alerts about problems, and helpful feedback on products and services.
Q1: What is a blog?
A1: A blog is an online diary that you share with others. The term is a shortened form of “web log.” Blogs are made up of posts, or fragments of articles. Posts are typically organized on the page newest to oldest. Blogs are used to post regular updates, solicit comments, and take advantage of syndication capability.
Q2: Why blog?
A2: If you want to share and openly communicate with others, blogging is a good way to do this. Why not use email lists, newsgroups, forums, etc.? Blogging is easy. Blogging is personal. Blogs are good for communicating when there is a need for permanent links, receiving comments, and navigation by date or topic. And blogs provide a chronological archive which can easily be searched.
Q3: Which external blog platforms are available?
A3: These platforms offer free services:
- Blogger – Example
- LinkedIn – Example
- Medium – Example
- Quora – Example
- Tumblr – Example
- WordPress – Example
Q4: Which platforms support internal blogs?
A4: Microsoft 365 offers blog functionality, as do many competing collaboration platforms.
Q5: Can you explain the difference between a blog and a forum?
A5: A blog is a one-to-many form of communication, usually read by visiting the website or through an RSS feed reader. It is well-suited to supporting personal expression, news updates, personal note taking or journal writing, links between the blogs of multiple bloggers, and comments from blog readers.
A forum is threaded discussion, previously known as a bulletin board or listserv, which is a many-to-many form of communication. It is well-suited to supporting a community of practice or a community of interest. Typically, forums can be used by visiting the website or entirely by email, and in some cases, read through an RSS feed reader. The email option makes them particularly popular.
Please enjoy Stan’s additional blog posts offering advice and insights drawn from many years as a KM practitioner. You may also want to download a copy of his book, Proven Practices for Implementing a Knowledge Management Program, from Lucidea Press. And learn about Lucidea’s Inmagic Presto and SydneyEnterprise with KM capabilities to support successful knowledge curation and sharing.
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