Last week at ProDev, I heard that some project teams use blogs for some of their communication. One project team I serve is considering one.
Advantages I can see:
- Add another channel for communication.
- Adds a source of documentation for the project.
- This communication can involve lots of team members.
- Can shorten response time when people find an obstacle.
Disadvantages I can see:
- Adds work to the project: reading it adds project overhead.
- Adds work to the project: someone has to administer the blog.
- Can add more ways for project information to leave the team and reduce competitive advantage.
Another disadvantage someone expressed to me: Most office workers are pretty centered on email today. For those who aren’t yet much centered on blogs, the needed behavior change might be an obstacle. (“Another application I have to remember to open once a day?”)
I’ll appreciate any feedback anyone leaves. As I write this, I’m probably motivated by the effect this community might have on the decision my project team is making. On the other hand, I’ll leave this thread open even after that team makes its decision. Thanks in advance.
Addressing disadvantages I saw above:
- Perhaps, even if there is more project overhead with project contributors reading the blog, this factor is easy to ignore. Perhaps more time reading the blog means less time reading email, tending toward an equal amount of communication time. Perhaps only a small benefit in communication is more valuable to a project than the cost of this overhead.
- Perhaps administering the blog can be a minor addition to someone’s time. And again, maybe the blog is more valuable than costly.
- Perhaps information security comes into my consciousness mostly because of my past military experience. We can put a blog on a server inside the corporate firewall. We can require everyone to enter user name and password to get access.