Phil Wolff explores why people don’t like to write (weblogs in particular). He gives a great synopsis of the challenges others have encountered in deploying weblogs within a company.
Most of this maps to our limited experience as well. Our deployment is still small and in the pilot stage. Of the two teams using them, the most active group of bloggers are those on our web staff. Many of us are in what is probably the weblog sweet-spot: web technologists/writers/designers with professional writing experience and/or liberal arts education. Outside of our unit there are only a few people who might fall under that description.
Interestingly, our team moved from a single, multi-author, team blog to individual blogs within a couple weeks. Some felt what they wanted to write about was too off topic for a team blog (although perfectly on topic for their job within the organization) and others thought the volume of posts was such that readers could miss important messages within the overall news. So, we each have our individual blogs now while still posting to our team blog for the messages we want our staff to see if they just want to keep up with our overall work.
The other group in our office with a team blog has remained with the multi-author model and have a much lower posting rate. They are technology folks but typically do not have writing in their background.
What I’m wondering: if your organization is team based, would a multi-author blog for that team provide a more comfortable environment for inexperienced writers to post than an individual weblog? This may not be the right lesson to pull from our experience since it is so early but there could be some validity to it.
Another thought. I’ve heard Marcus Buckingham speak twice in the last year (same speech word-for-word). He is author of ‘First, Break All the Rules’ and ‘Now Discover Your Stengths’. His core message is to focus on developing and rewarding your employees’ strengths and manage around their weaknesses. This is opposed to the usual model of identifying and remediating their weak areas and spending five minutes on what they do well. Perhaps we should enable the writers to write and find another way for the others.