Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Normalisation of Blogging - Almost

Shel writes that "Blogging is Normalizing" -- that "there is general understanding that blogging is fundamentally changing how companies communicate" and "blogging has already been injected into a great number of corporate cultures".

I think so too, based on recent experiences and observations. Blogs as a Communications Tool has just about gone over the "what is it" stage and into the "how do I leverage on it" stage.

During my recent training experience for the Southern Africa Online User Group (SAOUG) to about 100 Library & Information Professionals in South Africa, my co-trainer and I learnt that most participants had a basic understanding of "What is a weblog" and their interest in the course was more of "How do I actually blog" or "How do I start a Corporate Blog". I'd say almost half of the participants were looking at the possibility of using blogs for their corporate internal communications.

Also, take Yesterday.SG for instance -- an initiative by the Museum Roundtable, supported by the National Heritage Board (NHB), Singapore. And of course I can't resist mentioning the High Browse Online (public libraries) book blog and the National Library Programmes blog directly managed by NLB.

All three blogs are linked to Government agencies (directly or indirectly). BTW, here's a funny thought -- it seems that it's the government agencies here who are leading the way in using blogs as a communication and social networking platform! So who says the Government Sector is less innovative and more risk-adverse? :)

However, I see "blogging" as more than just "blogs". While "blogs are normalising", what isn't so apparent yet is whether organisations and institutions are willing to adopt a "blogging culture", i.e. a willingness to provide an insider's view into the institution.

Personally, I'd like to see, in Singapore, a mix of Library Corporate Websites with sprinklings of Librarian Blogs.

Why?

I feel it's about creating a difference in how libraries and librarians interact with our public stakeholders. You can say it's PR but I say it's about Customer Relations.

And that will take a bit more time to realise, if it does happen at all for libraries in Singapore.


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