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Blogs v. Intranets for Internal Staff Communication

As a follow-up to my presentation on blogs at their annual meeting last week, the Association of Legal Administrators invited me to participate in a forum on blogs. I'd like to share one of the questions I received:

Question: If a blog is as good as an intranet for communicaions with staff, why not stick to an intranet? The intranet seems to have more potential for storing information for staff like policy manuals. [In the presentation, I mentioned that blogs could be used for internal staff communication.]

My response: An Intranet is a tool for internal communication - a blog can be also. They are not mutually exclusive.

If your Intranet is serving your needs, then stick with it. But there is no reason that you couldn't incorporate a blog into your Intranet if desired. Not every firm has an Intranet. Because blogs are very easy to create/maintain, and very inexpensive, they might offer a smaller firm a nice way to create an internal communications tool.

Blogs are hot right now in the legal community. Some folks want to jump on the bandwagon while others want nothing to do with what they see as a flash-in-the-pan fad. A blog is simply one of many communication tools at your disposal.

As I mentioned in my presentation: Don't rush out to create a blog just so you can say you have a blog. BUT - conversely - don't avoid this potentially useful technology just because it's a blog.

Take a step back from the hype before evaluating whether this tool is right for you.

Comments

Blogs shouldn't replace an intranet/portal - there are too many other required applications. That said, they are worthy additions.

Also worth noting, many of the open source CMS packages have blogs already built-in; so, you can have it all. :-)

To be effective, internal communications needs to be genuinely two-way. Nothing replaces one-to-one contact between managers and staff, and regular team brief meetings.
The most powerful way of implementing two-way internal communications online is through intranet forums and I'd use this method before blogs, although blogs can be helpful as an additional channel.

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