Microblogging and its role in your organisation

One of the benefits of my job is seeing various differing size of organisations operating from the inside. You get to see the methods and issues that companies have with communication. Having working in large organisations – government and healthcare and having seen the issues with introducing new communication methods – email and intranets – its always a challenge to see what will work with smaller organisations.

You would think that a smaller organisation would have less issues with communication – both internally and with external contacts. However it is quite common to see organisations that use email to communicate and to share information rather than using other tools to help develop the communication mechanisms available to the staff and management.

There are a number of  factors that affect how you should communicate information but some like persistence, medium, complexity and purpose are for me the most important.

By persistence I mean the length of time this information will be valid – days – weeks – years and also the freshness – how often it will be updated.

By medium I am indicating the actual format of the information – video, presentation, large pdf , spreadsheets

By complexity I mean the ability of the recipient to absorb the information and understand it – is it instantly readable or does it required further study to be of value.

By purpose I am focusing on the nature of the communication – is it to inform – to train – to advise or to look for input or collaboration.

All of these factors have differing demands and need differing approaches to solving the communication problems they bring. So where does microblogging fit in to any of these?

In the areas where you have relatively low volume – low complexity but time sensitive elements then microblogging comes into its own. The issue that most organisations view social networks such as Twitter as time wasting pastimes doesn’t help the case but for small organisations especially those with geographically distributed staff.

I’ve been working with a company for a number of months using Yammer as a means of keeping communications open across a range of  projects. I’ve also been using it in a personal capacity and specifically like the text to yammer option from mobiles. However a recent enquiry raised the issue of running the equivalent of Yammer internally and thats where StatusNet comes in.

With this you can operate your own social realtime communication and get users talking about whats happening now in your business !!