I read an article last night in the print version of Information Week. It was an article all about blogging. The author started out by talking about the history of blogs and what people use them for, etc.
It then went on to talk about blogging for use within a company. This part peaked my interest. It did because my former company was a rather collaborative company. I enjoyed working in this environment and I started thinking about the best way to apply the idea of blogging. The author talked about a number of different ways, some of which were also the way I was thinking of it.
The first way the author talked about it was having each person have their own personal blog within the company intranet. This thought sounds ok, but I think this would get unwieldy, as well as could turn in to another form of chat. Though people would be free to express their ideas, it could turn in to soap boxes or just plain talk all day.
The second way, I sort of split in to a few different ways in my head. The idea was to have a company wide blog where people would be able to post thoughts/ideas/etc and let people reply to them. My thought for this would be one of two things. Either, have a very categorical (is that a word?) blog, where there would be an HR category, a QA category, etc. The other idea would be to have it split up so that there would be seperate blogs for each of these.
Working in a shop right now where there are software developers, hardware developers, support people, qa, and all the other regular functions of a company, it would be nice to seperate these as most people would not be interested in issues regarding some of these areas. I think some would be of interest to all though.
Think about a marketing blog within a company. People could post their ideas for marketing and then they could be argued (err, discussed) among other people within the company. From there they would have a chance to expand and build to something which could be a really good idea built on a lot of people's thoughts. I could see this as a very nice way to try and get ideas flowing from lots of different people.
Another idea (which came somewhat directly from the article) would be a support blog. The people in support could write articles about experiences they have had while at customer sites and other support people could add other information. Also, people in development and QA could help with the problems experienced by both adding solutions or fixing the problems or possibly adding test cases to make sure this is tested for in future releases.
All in all, I think blogging within a company could prove very helpful. My biggest worry would be that people could get so engrossed in it, that it would take away from their work.
The last note to this, while surfing today, I found Blogroots. The people over there are in the process of writing a book all about blogging. On their website they are currently publishing chapters online. The chapter that is currently online is all about blogging in business. I have yet to read it, but it could be an interesting read.