A few people at work are experimenting with using blogs to connect with customers/users or whatever you want to call the people that our IT division serves. It’s a worthwhile experiment, but so far it has languished. After some asking around, I figured out who was responsible for the effort and sent a few suggestions, including this:

It would help to have a more clearly human voice. If weblogs are ever effective communication tools, it’s because they engage people in conversation, punching through a corporate-speak firewall and connecting individuals. I don’t sense this happening in the training feedback blog. The same was true of the ISRS Admissions blog, too: everything is posted by “ITS Support.” Who’s that? I suggest that you use people’s names, to put an actual human being behind the words. People are not inclined to trust or even be interested in something written by an unnamed entity. You can’t make an organization more transparent by hiding behind walls. That may not be what you intended, but frankly I think it’s the result.

Ironically, not half an hour later someone in HR sent an event invitation to everyone. I don’t know who in HR because it was sent by “HR Office.”


Update: I like what the folks at Technical Careers @ Microsoft have done, adding personalized icons for each of the blog posters. I even like that they’re not real photos. I don’t have to read the poster’s name to know who wrote what, I just passively identify the words with the picture and over time build a sense for that person’s unique voice. Awesome.