More on deploying enterprise microblogging in organisations

Microblogging inside an organisation provides staff with the ability to post short messages to everyone in the organisation or a select group. A variety of online tools can be used, for example Yammer, SocialText or an internally built solution.

Deploying microblogging involves more than understanding the technology, because it is really about providing opportunities for conversations between staff. The content of microblogging messages can vary widely, from accounts of what staff are working on, and questions for other staff, to updates about products, projects or situations.

The growth in microblogging is a relatively recent phenomenon and its success within organisations varies greatly. Where it has been successful, microblogging has been able to better connect staff, break down hierarchical structures and improve the sense of belonging felt by staff.

As with many of the social media tools, there is an impact on the intranet, particularly on communication channels and siloing of information. This article outlines:

  • strategic considerations
  • practicalities on how to set up microblogging
  • how to drive adoption

I’ve been talking a lot about enterprise microblogging lately (see my post about how Deloitte is using Yammer). This is a nice article from Catherine about enterprise microblogging, however just to add a few points:

  • Its worth highlighting from Catherine’s post that some enterprise microblogging tools offer a freemium model (including Yammer), where they offer a free and a paid premium version. The premium version provides access to advanced features, such as ActiveDirectory sychronisation (so you don’t need to remove users if they leave the organisation). The fact that you are reading this and ‘thinking’ about deploying enterprise microblogging probably suggests that you need those features, so you should be factoring a budget into the planning process. Remember also that most of the hosted tools are priced on a per user per month basis.
  • I’ve already disputed the statistics mentioned, although I agree there are good and bad deployments of social business software – personally I would also worry less about adoption rates and participation, focus instead on understanding the return on collaboration. For more on this, see my post of Designing Social Workplaces and Amit’s great post on Adoption Strategies for Social Software.
  • Catherine focused on the people-to-people interaction in enterprise microblogging, however we are also increasingly looking at how we integrate these systems of engagement with transactional information systems (“systems of record”) – what I call machine generated content (MGC). Tibbr is a good example of this.
  • Finally, if you looking into technology options don’t forget to consider if you want to integrate enterprise microblogging with other tools (e.g. SharePoint), build it into an existing platform or implement a social suite that also has status updates in it (most offer a lightweight microblogging feature).