Wednesday, 2 March 2005

Blogging and E-Learning

Later in March I'll be presenting to a group in Canberra (ACT, Australia) on the role of Blogs and Wikis in learning as well as providing some practical demonstrations of how this technology works. I was asked to find some pre-presentation reading materials related to blogging and e-learning, so I thought I would share them here too:

This one isn't about blogging but looks at the related role of Wikis in e-learning:


  1. James,

    You might want to look at Shawn Callahan's interesting article on Using content to create connections between people which focuses on how blogs could be used to keep an IT sales force up to date with technical and industry changes.

    Blogs offer an interesting way to increase communication between people (inside or outside your company), because they are easy to use, have some permanence and act as a feedback mechanism whereby the people offering the most useful insights will realise their talents are appreciated due to comments and cross-blogging of entries.

    In that sense it promises to offer the sort of market mechanism that KM needs to help propel knowledge sharing throughout the enterprise.

  2. Thanks Angus. You might like to take a look at this earlier post here for my thoughts on corporate Wikis and Blogs.

    I think there are some barriers to blogging inside corporates that Shawn's paper skims overs. For example, IT architecture, business culture and security. I mean we've had groupware for years and some organisations still find it hard to use it well.

  3. Hi James,

    Your right, I did skim over those issues (didn't want to put too much in the paper) but they are important. I couldn't comment on the architectural and security issues, accept to say many companies have introduced blogging (on the intranet), so I guess it can be done and the architectural and security issues can be addressed.

    The more difficult issue, I think, is getting a group of people to blog in the first place. As I suggest in the paper, sales people will never blog but pre-sales folk are more likely if the right environment (culture, recognition, WIFM) exists. I think there are 4 hurdles you need to jump to address motivation: 1) start with understanding people's basic needs (narrative is a good technique here); 2) think about how much activity is required to create an output (in this case, blogging--if it's too hard to do, they wont); 3) think about the how blogging is evaluated (by the blogger and others); and 4) does the result of the evaluation help meet the individual's needs?

  4. Shawn - Actually my pov is that the difficult issue is managing BOTH the people and technology issues at the same time.

    Getting people to "blog" is no different from getting people to post something to a Lotus Notes discussion database.

    What I do like about your paper is that it gives people an idea of what might be possible (a good thing for IT innovation). But simply dropping a blog into an organisation can cause problems down the line if some of the technology and security issues aren't fully understood.

    For example, if other collaboration and communication technologies already exist in the collaborative infrastructure, they can end up competing with each other and diluting resources and user attention.

    I talk about the importance of understanding and supporting the collaborative infrastructure in a couple of my articles.

  5. I agree with your POV James. There are many things to consider when you move from a new idea to implementation. I'm currently working with an organisation who are translating the concept into a reality.


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