Back then all this was much smaller. There were far fewer bloggers. Maybe thousands. Today there are millions. None of them are thinking about what happens when Tumblr or Blogger or WordPress or Facebook disappear. But come on — we almost know for certain that one of them will. Given enough time they will all disappear. Doesn’t it make sense to think, in advance about what will happen then? Technically there are good practices that exist right now, that could ameliorate the problems. Don’t we have a responsibility to implement them?
Which gets me to the beginning. Yesterday I wrote a piece where I said that the web is socialist. I strongly believe if you try to turn a community of bloggers into a property, someday you’ll wake up to the realization that you bought a bag of air. There’s nothing inside the walls that’s worth anything, from a dollar standpoint. What happens then dear blogger? Do you think anyone is going to subsidize the hosting? You will be on your own that day. And you very likely won’t have any recourse, any more than my users had in 2003. I promise you I was well-intentioned, but that didn’t save the sites. Good intentions are no answer. Saying they’re not your users won’t help either. In 2003 they weren’t mine because I was no longer employed by the company. No salary. No upside. Nothing. I quit for a very good reason. So why me? It was basically an accident that the hits were coming to my server. That didn’t matter to the users. Were they right? Hard to say. But it didn’t matter.
When I started at The Lighthouse, I was caught on what was the best way to communicate with the staff. I didn’t want to use memos and while email works, I wanted something that would keep a narrative of where we started from. I set up an intranet with Google Sites and while it was impressive, I didn’t think it would get checked enough and was a bit of a pain to post stuff too. I finally settled on setting up a password protected staff blog using Blogger. It took about 2 minutes to set up and invite the staff to. Another 60 seconds and I had invited Chris and DeeAnn to post to it as well.
The response to reading it was good but there were some technical difficulties. Once those were settled it will be even more productive. The main technical obstacle is staff forgetting their passwords at home and then wanting to read it at work. That was solved by setting up a generic account that can be accessed by anyone at work to read it.
We are only six posts into it and I am not sure what the end result will be but the hope is that it will be a resource that will bring staff up to speed quicker and give them a better feel for the ethos, feel, and personality of The Lighthouse quicker than ever before.
With it being so easy to set up and publish to, I am surprised that more employers aren’t using internal blogs more. I have loved the idea ever since I heard of the idea of Blogger in Google shortly after Google acquired Google.
"Google Inc., which implemented an internal Web log system behind its firewall about 18 months ago, has seen tremendous benefits from it and may in the future consider providing tools and expertise for this purpose to interested clients, a Google executive said.
Google deployed an internal blog for its employees shortly after acquiring the blogging service Blogger in early 2003, and since then Google staffers have found many useful and creative ways for the internal blog, said Jason Goldman, Blogger product manager at Google.
"Since then, we have seen a lot of different uses of blogs within the firewall: people keeping track of meeting notes, people sharing diagnostics information, people sharing snippets of code, as well as more personal uses, like letting co-workers know what they’re thinking about and what they’re up to," Goldman said. "It really helps grow the intranet and the internal base of documents."
Google executives have talked in the past about the company’s internal Blogger implementation, called Blogger in Google (BIG), and a Google employee even posted a screenshot of a BIG page last year".
It’s not a new idea but it has the potential for The Lighthouse to have a big return on almost no investment.
My friend and colleague Marcel has started a new blog which should be good as he is one of the most versatile people I know. He is one of the four people that are calling my office home right now and is often the cameraman on the videos that we shoot around The Lighthouse. Since I noted that he has one, I suppose it’s as good of time as any to mention that my other office mate, DeeAnn has one as well.
Wendy decided to move her site from WordPress.com back to Blogger this weekend. The move went okay but Blogger is having problems importing new blogs right now. You can find her at iamwendycooper.blogspot.com from now on. Her RSS feed remains the same and of course you can find her on Twitter at @wendycooper .