I remember my first blog post on an internal blogging platform several years ago now; As I started to write I sat there thinking to myself do I actually considered this writting of a blog post to be work; it was during normal office hours, I was in the office, I was sitting at a desk, using a company laptop, I was being paid a salary. To someone passing by it would appear that I was doing ‘work’, but was my writting a blog post actually ‘work’ ? If it was ‘work’, what value would it contibute, how would it be measured ? What was the point ? Who anyway was going to read it ? One thing that crossed my mind at the time – would my manager consider it to be work ? (that is assuming my manager would know about it) Valuable work ?? And just how would it be taken in to account during my annual performance review ???
After a few minutes, I pressed on, helped by a couple of additional thoughts: How many hours a day did I sit at my desk, looking like I was working ? And how many emails per day I would read, forward, respond to, file, delete, without ever considering if this activity was adding any value, and not questioning if it was work or not. I took it for granted that email was work, but questioned blogging.
To me blogging is the act of sharing our thoughts and opinions openly. While I don’t have an answer for how to measure the productivity impact, I do believe it adds value to those who write, those who comment, to those that read, and to the organization overall, not least in that it shares knowledge accross oragaizational silos, geographies, and time zones. People within an organization can choose to follow blogs (it is subscriber based) that they find of value, unlike email (publisher based) where you are either on the distribution list or not, so it is exclusive, and your inbox is filled with emails that are of no value, yet we don’t question if this is work.
And just for the record, I’m not writting this at work !