While the phenomenon of web logs – or blogging – as it's more commonly known, has largely been confined to internet-savvy enthusiasts, IT business leaders are starting to wake up to its business potential.
A blogging conference in the US last month claimed it is breaking into the enterprise so we asked our panel of CIOs and IT directors if blogging does have a place in the business world.
The jury was split down the middle with six voting 'yes' and six voting 'no', although even they acknowledged there will be specific industries such as the media where it would work.
One blogging enthusiast is JP Rangaswami, global CIO at investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, who said: "Blogging is the open-sourcing of ideas, allowing us to move closer to perfect markets for information where asymmetry has no value. We have had blogs at DrKW for a while now, and are experimenting with externalising them."
Steve Anderson, IT partner at construction and property consultancy Davis Langdon, doubted that blogging is breaking into the business environment right now but acknowledged its potential in the future as part of a broader knowledge-management strategy.
"Find the 'killer app' and uphill struggle becomes a downhill jaunt. The barrier to wide adoption of commercial blogging is that people are too busy to bother - remember intranet newsgroups?"
Margaret Smith, director of business information systems at insurer Legal & General said corporates may not have any say in its use in businesses.
"Whether we like it or not, it will take on this role, just as the grapevine is a vital means of communication," she said.
Blogging could be particularly useful to globally distributed companies in helping maintain effective communication, according to Kevin Fitzpatrick, CTO at Manpower. "Maintaining a common strategy for different areas of business, services and products requires fast, meaningful communication. Any tool that enhances this has a role to play," he said.
That view was supported by Derek Gannon, IT director at The Guardian newspaper, who described bloggers as the "new intermediaries".
Today's CIO Jury was…
Steve Anderson, IT partner, Davis Langdon
Graham Benson, information services director & CIO, Screwfix
Colin Cobain, IT director, Tesco
Kevin Fitzpatrick, CTO, Manpower
Derek Gannon, IT director, The Guardian
David Jemitus, head of IT, Government Planning Portal
Mark Lichtenhein, director of IT and new media, PGA European Tour
Crispin O'Connell, chief ICT officer, Cardiff City Council
JP Rangaswami, global CIO, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein
Margaret Smith, director of business information systems, Legal & General
Ted Woodhouse, IT director, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
David Yu, CTO, Betfair.com
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