Blogs as organisational dialogue

I know the idea of blogs as the new knowledge management tool isn’t new, but it came home to me last week when we (some people from the OU with an interest in broadcasting) had a days workshop with some BBC people. Actually getting together with some of the smart, techie people there was really useful. But, as ever, the problem comes in how to move things forward. It seems clear to me that the  commissioning model that applies to traditional broadcasting doesn’t work in the new context. Our overlap was more in areas of R and D than in creating specific programmes.

However, the last thing you want to do is set up some formal meeting structure, whereby we have quarterly meetings which become a chore, and in effect exist for their own function after a while, without getting anything done. What would have been really useful for me was if a few people at the BBC kept regular blogs, which I could subscribe to, and vice versa for them. Even if the blogs aren’t aimed directly at us, you would pick up by osmosis what is going on, what the issues are, and who you might be able to collaborate with. Sadly, when I asked if any of them kept blogs I was told no, or if they did they were internal ones.

I had a mild demonstration of this a few days later when I had a call with some consultants who are looking at some of the broadcast issues for the OU. I talked about some e-learning, web 2.0, VLE issues, and then said ‘look at my blog, and use the tags to find the relevant stuff.’ They called it up while we were chatting and said ‘great, we don’t need to keep you any longer, we’ll come back if we need anything else.’

Increasingly I think these light, by-product methods of exchanging information will be at the heart of the type of partnerships institutions will form. So, if you were looking for a reason to blog, there’s another one.

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