IT in the Ad Biz

May 12 2008   1:28AM GMT

Is That a Blog, a Wiki, or an E-Mail?

JohnWilder John Wilder Profile: JohnWilder

One of the things which continues to be a barrier to our adoption of Web 2.0 tools, particularly our SharePoint Blogs and Wiki’s is confusion over where to post something. I really think this fear of being wrong is preventing some of our users from using these tools. I’d like to suggest that we stop worrying about it, and just post. Stop worrying about whether or not you’re correct. It’s not going to be the end of the world is something which is more appropriate for a Wiki entry is posted as a Blog or vice versa. The important thing is that useful information gets posted someplace where it will be preserved.

Unfortunately, we continue to rely on e-mail to publish information which is better served being posted on our SharePoint site, where it can be easily found weeks or months later. The problem is that e-mail is the best tool to use to notify people of a new post. It’s possible to set up alerts, but we don’t necessarily want to have every Wiki entry sent to everyone in the Agency.

There are a couple fairly simple solutions to this problem. First, we simply need to teach our users how to create and send a link via e-mail. When an item of interest is posted in a SharePoint Blog or Wiki, the person posting it needs to copy a shortcut to the item, and then paste the URL into an e-mail telling the appropriate audience about the item. Yes, it’s an extra step, and it’s easier to just send an e-mail, but having the item preserved for posterity is worth the effort.

Another option isn’t in place right now, but we could “mail enable” certain SharePoint items, including Blogs. We also could begin implementing some of the Audience targeting features of SharePoint which would help with Wikis. This would allow people to add an address to an e-mail which would cause the contents of the e-mail to be automatically added as a Blog entry. Audience targeting would allow people to target Wiki entries (and other SharePoint items) to specific audiences (i.e. Agency Wide, Account Service, etc.). This option, however, would require quite a bit of setup and testing prior to implementation.

For now, we’ll focus on education and training. Hopefully, If we can get people to begin posting to our Blogs and Wikis, perhaps they’ll overcome some of those fears and this will become less of an issue.

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