Microblogging in the workplace can be a very useful tool.

When I began the readings for this section of our module, I was somewhat sceptical. I know in my workplace that a blog has been set-up which has seen a number of my co-workers express concern that some people have the time to write blogs (admittedly some of what was initially posted was, shall we say, tripe!) and when you read the comments to many of these posts, it is the same people who are commenting. Another ‘problem’ with the blog in my workplace is that we don’t have the time to set aside from work activities to actually read it — leading one manager to ‘have a go’ at employees for not using the blog properly! However, when reading Burnham’s article 12 Microblogging Tools to Consider I began to think about the possibilities of microblogging (as opposed to blogging). the further reading of Grenfell’s piece on Deploying microblogging in the workplace really piqued my interest.

I then did a quick google search and found an article that appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald (Karena, A window to get off the email trail) about using microblogging to replace emails — not eradicate emails, but to reduce the number of emails that are sent within a company. For example, between project team members, or even notifications to groups. For example, in my company a large number of emails are sent to different groups of people as they have been identified as parties with a potential interest in the content (such as reports, or updated next day plans, etc). Instead of clogging up the servers with multiple copies of the same email (and usual attachment), microblogging could be used to notify people that the report or plan is ready. The microblog can also house a link to the shared file, thus reducing the strain on the server. I really can see the potential benefits of microblogging within a business.

However, as Grenfell notes, there are factors that need consideration. Factors such as microblogging’s relationship to the strategies/goals of the organisation, the administrative requirements of the microblogging tool itself (potentially also moderation of comments) and management support of the microblogging activities, are some of the considerations of microblogging implementation. From my own experience in my workplace, I would say the most important organisational factor to consider is the staff resistance factor. Staff need to be ‘sold’ on the idea of microblogging and how it will improve their work life before they will really see the usefulness of such a tool.

As with many new ‘systems’ brought into an organisation, microblogging needs the support of the non-executive to really work. If the only people who use it are executives or publicists, then the tool will not work as it will likely be seen as a way for management to disseminate propaganda and talk about themselves. If the microblogging project team are able to garner enthusisaism from non-executive staff members, then I can see that microblogging could add much value a community to the workplace.

REFERENCES

Burnham, K. (2009, December 11). 12 Microblogging Tools to Consider. CIO. retrieved from http://www.cio.com.au/article/328255/12_microblogging_tools_consider/

Grenfell, C. (2011, July 29). Deploying microblogging in the workplace. Step Two Designs. Retrieved from http://www.steptwo.com.au/papers/kmc_microblogging/index.html

Karena, C. (2012, April 27). A window to get off the email trail. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved from http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/business-it/a-window-to-get-off-the-email-trail-20120426-1xocj.html

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