The blog alternative

Interesting article on Guardian Online looking at the problem of excessive email at work and suggestions that company internal blogs could be a solution.

I know some firms are already moving in that direction and it does make a lot of sense.

The problem with email excess is that people often just fire them off without giving much thought to whether the message was really needed or whether the content was right. The use of mass mailing lists within companies means that lots of people get mail that has nothing to do with them.

A blog, given its status as a published document, inevitably forces people to think a bit more before writing and also allows people to take it or leave it without either wasting time or clogging up a system. I often miss important emails at work simply because my first task in a morning is to delete the piles of rubbish that I am never going to read and inevitably some message I needed gets culled. With a blog I could just scan a page and take in what I need and if I missed something I could go back and check it later.

Also the comments box could allow for instant feedback, again only needing to be read by those who want the info. There are few more annoying things in office admin than having to deal with replies to emails that you never read in the first place just because someone pressed ‘reply to all’.

Of course it requires blogs to be protected – I would think most companies would want a blog to have restricted access either on an intranet or by using password control. You don’t want the whole world reading your internal discussions.

It also means putting someone in charge of the blog to make sure it doesn’t get abused but for medium to large sized companies a blogmaster would do the service of saving everyone else a lot of wasted time.