E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

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Corporate Blogging behind the Firewall by Mareike Swania

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One of the things that I really enjoy quite a bit from the summer is to get in touch with some of the incredible talent that is floating around all over the place from remarkably smart students putting together their final thesis, papers, dissertations, or whatever other research term you would want to make use of, around the subject of Knowledge Management, Collaboration and Social Computing. I just wish I could spend some more time hanging out with them and learn what’s in their minds and what they are after. After all, very soon they will be the main workforce in the corporate world, so it gives me a perfect opportunity to find out some more about some of my near future colleagues ahead of the curve.

Alas, my daily work duties do not allow me to spend as much of that time as I would have wished for. Thus you get to turn down some of those offers here and there from those folks who would love you to participate in their research papers and it really is a pity, of course, but there is just so much that we can fit in within a day of work, right?

However, every now and then you get hit by a specific piece of research that you find quite fascinating and that you would want to hear some more about. And, of course, you try to make time for those interviews and share your two cents worth of comments. Remember the weblog post I shared not long ago around the research that Penny Edwards is doing on Management of Wikis in Business? Well, here is another one for you.

I am loving it! All of this amazing talent wanting to help figure our what’s going on around the subject of social computing within the corporate world. Check out the following request I received a few days ago from Mareike Swania:

"We are currently conducting research into the topic of internal blogging within companies.
As part of this study we are inviting company bloggers to complete a short questionnaire in the form of an online survey available at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=lyaeUenyBMkZDwXKRMRd7w_3d_3d

The questions deal with some general questions about your blog, about your motivation to blog and the impact of your blog.
All data collected will be anonymous, and in the written report of the research it will not be possible to identify the individuals who contributed to the study, nor their affiliations.

Should you be interested in the findings of the research once it is complete, there is a place on the survey to leave your email address to which a report will be sent.
If you have any questions about the work, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thank you for participating."

Of course, I couldn’t help but to chime in and spend 5 minutes going through the survey. I found that some of the different questions Mareike has put together do match most of my main interests behind corporate blogging, specially after being over 4 years at it myself inside IBM. I am really looking forward to checking out the results that I have already signed up for, when completing the questionnaire, as I am sure it would help me understand a lot better how most people out there are blogging away behind their own corresponding company firewall. Here is the thing though. Why not spend five minutes of your own time and fill in the survey as well?

Or even better, why don’t you create a blog post, too, behind the firewall, or externally, whatever, and you encourage folks to participate, too, so that the data becomes even much more useful and relevant than what it may well be already? It’s going to take about 5 minutes, or less, depending on how fast you type, but one thing for sure is that spending those few minutes over there is going to be very helpful for us all to understand what is going on behind the corporate firewall on how different knowledge workers have been adopting weblogging, or not, in order to help boost their knowledge sharing and collaboration capabilities with other knowledge workers.

Thus, go ahead, start spreading the message around on Mareike’s fine piece of work put together thus far and let’s revisit the results later on in the year. I bet they would bring a few surprises here and there! No doubt.

(Thanks a bunch, Mareike, for reaching out and for wanting us to be a part of your research! Looking forward to seeing the results of it!)

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