Internal weblog as a staff bulletin board?

I have taken on a management role in a small organization and we have launched an internal weblog which allows us to share information. The weblog title is Staff Bulletin Board to make it less intimidating to our non-computer users.

All staff who have computers have Guest Author status. They can
write posts that will be published to the weblog with or without
review. Guest authors can only edit their own posts.

Staff who do not use computers in their daily work can access the
Staff Bulletin Board by means of a computer kiosk located in a central
location. We have a few older computers which will be added to the
network as soon as we get time. Our wireless network gives us the
flexibility we need.

This organization offers many different short classes and workshops
and the constant question being asked by public and staff alike relates
to the status of upcoming classes.

With this new internal weblog, staff can exchange and update
information whether they are located on campus or away on a trip.
Problem situations can be noted and requests for service can be posted.
In the few days this internal weblog has been running, it has already
made a difference in the information available to me as a manager.

I decided to use Typepad to host the Staff Bulletin Board instead of
using wiki software because it is a familiar tool and seems to offer
all of the features we need with little or no training required.

I have investigated wikis several times and have come away confused
because of the unfamiliar navigation procedure. It has made me realize
the overwhelming advantage of using a familiar interface even for
dissimilar tasks.

As owner of the weblog, I can edit any part of the weblog and change
the design as needed. We are keeping things simple by limiting this
internal weblog i.e. The Staff Bulletin Board to non-confidential
material.

We will probably implement online staff schedules in the next few
days, because we have a high percentage of part-time staff and
volunteers on flexible schedules. As our traffic volume builds, it
becomes more important to be able to know what coverage we have for
events taking place outside of normal working hours.

Do any of you have internal corporate weblogs with multiple authors? What has your experience been?
What kind of information are you sharing?

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0 Responses to Internal weblog as a staff bulletin board?

  1. Sean Pecor says:

    I’ve developed over the years a proprietary content management system that is very close to being as easy to use as Typepad. It contains a variety of functionality plugins that help structure and maintain a public web site and/or intranet. It also contains a variety of content plugins that help folks contribute and manage content of specific types. For example, I’ve built a blog plugin that allows for the same general functionality of a blog. Other plugins include resource links (link pages), photo galleries (automatic thumbnailing), message forums (threaded bulletin boards), document libraries, articles (w/ automatic pagination), voting booths, and so on. Most recently I’m working on a class entry and class signup plugin for Sean for possible use with Floyd County schools.

    Once you start evolving the Jefferson Center web site and run into roadblocks with getting certain functionality plugged in, you might be interested in using my cms. I’d donate a license to the center. It handles all of the low level stuff for you, like user accounts, and all pages and sections inside pages can be assigned independent read, write, and editorial workgroup privileges. Best of all everything is in-page like Typepad. Meaning for example Editors of a page see “Add Page”, “Edit Text” type links inside the content of the page. Something to think about. I’m investing alot of effort into the CMS for the remainder of the year to get it ready to power a DIY web site building service, targeted to moms and pops and micro businesses, so I’d be able to add or enhance features and ease of use while you’re utilizing it. The cms runs on any server capable of running Apache (web server), Mysql (database server), and PHP (scripting language) – including Windows, OS X, Linux and all Unix/BSD flavors.

    Sean

  2. Bronwyn says:

    Whether a wiki would have been a better tool depends a lot on the kind of information you’re posting.

    If it’s documentation or procedure that gets referred to and cross-referenced heavily, then it’s worth looking into a wiki. I’ve used both wikis and blogs so just write and ask me to explain the basic principles, if you like.

    If it’s ephemera (meeting notices, class schedules), then the blog may well be a better solution. Items aren’t relevant forever, so date of posting matters more than date of last revision. Chronological archives, search, and tags/categories will likely be enough help to refind information.

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