Table 4: “not positive” experiences attributed to lack of management support for blogging and other web 2.0 toolsMajority of participants (n=52) posted 10-99 times; 16 participants = 10 posts or less; 10 participants = over 1,000 posts
Blogging has become more gender-neutral
(long tail, 80/20, 90/10 rule)Small number of bloggers write most postsMost active bloggers not necessarily most heavily read blogs
2 factors are most influential on internal corporate blogging:Whether or not a blogger perceives others are reading their post,Management support for bloggingKNOWLEDGE SHARING IS COMPLEXEmployees want to signal know-how to management, but must do so at the risk of compromising personal intellectual property to coworkers who may be competing for rank. The traditional methods of communication where management broadcasts to employees is being supplemented with peer-enabled access to information. As the domain-centered walled silos of knowledge at work are restructured, we need to better understand what information people should pay attention to and when in order to perform their jobs effectively.
WORK VS SOCIAL WEBEmployees want attention for blog participation; no ROI for employees; incentive-drivenExpectations ranged from anticipating large audiences & interaction to content w/ small group blog.Tools like RSS still don’t make it easier to find contentTARGET ALLOCATIONrestrict number of available blog posts and reduce overall amount of info available. Ie: supply & demand says that ratio of blog posts to readers will decrease if cost of blogging increaseddisplay most popular/most recent blogs. This however privileges novelty and popularity over relevancy.Remedy this by targeting reader attention to relevant material. PROVIDE FEEDBACK MECHANISMAmong participants in our study, the content of a reply was often less important than the value of the acknowledgement that someone was reading the post,Reciprocity rule: one cannot see what another is doing w/o being seen themselvesSOCIAL VS. WORK BLOGGINGSocial blog reading is for personal edification and interest and is unlikely to be time-criticalWork blog reading was more aligned w/ time-sensitive material/company changes.Lack of feedback and reciprocity influenced negative attitudesRather than replies or comments, some coworkers provided outeractions—a set of communicative processes outside of information exchange, in which people reach out to others in patently social ways to enable information exchange. Nardi et al.If internal blogging is to encourage bottom-up knowledge-sharing and social relations, must be made clear that contributing is their opportunity and rightWeighting management buy-in within an attention economy implies that the attention of management is worth more than the attention of general employees. This framework downplays the important social value that can motivate a productive corporate cultureweighting management buy-in within an attention economy implies that the attention of management is worth more than the attention of general employees. This framework downplays the important social value that can motivate a productive corporate culture
Attention economy Defined<br />an approach to the management of information that treats human attention as a scarce commodity, and applies economic theory to solve various information management problems1<br />In an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of… the attention of its recipients (Herbert Simon, 1969).<br />If the Web and the Net can be viewed as spaces in which we will increasingly live our lives, the economic laws we will live under have to be natural to this new space…What counts most is what is most scarce now, namely attention (Goldhaber, 1997)2<br />1http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attention_economy<br />2http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/519/440<br />
Guiding questions<br />We know how attention economy works on the web. How does it play out at work ?<br />What are the breakdowns in the corporate attention economy?<br />How does the corporate attention economy differ from the social web?<br />How do these differences affect attitudes toward blogging among employees at FeamCo?<br />How does blog readership influence the community?<br />How does blogging impact corporate culture and vice versa?<br />
The Study<br />SITE: Large internal corporate blogging community @ FeamCo<br />TIME: Analyzed log files from server over 12-month period from 7/07-7/08, phone interviews over 6 weeks in 2008<br />PARTICIPANTS: 96 employees worldwide: 76 Male, 21 Female, 9 managers, 3 VPs<br />
Method: Log File Analysis<br /><ul><li>Analyzed log files containing 3.6 million lines (over 4.4 before removing bots and maintenance hits)
Identified over 100 unique blogs, over 1,000 non-anonymous blogger authors, over 10,000 readers.</li></li></ul><li>Method: Interviews<br /><ul><li>Participants selected from database of employees who are active <1 on FeamCo’s social media tools
Attitudes toward bogging</li></li></ul><li>Findings: Behavior & attitudes<br />(n=96)<br />Table 3: Self reported activity relative to other forms of corporate media<br />Table 4: Attitudes towards internal blogs<br />Table 5: Perceived readership of blogs (own blog or others if not author)<br />
FINDINGS: Correlation <br />Can’t infer causality between behavior and attitude<br />No significant relationship between blog attitudes and start date<br />Surprised no significant relationship between blog attitudes and start date or gender<br />
Findings: 90/10 rule at work<br />Confirmed a power law curve in direct hits by blog<br />For every 1 post, about .006 comments and 77.5 hits<br />1% posts<br />.1% comments<br />98.9% reads<br />
Findings: Temporal Patterns<br />Email priority<br />At the end of the day, email and blog writing drops, blog reading rises<br />Sr. level employee’s blog peaks during 9-5 workday<br />Prolific blogger’s traffic more evenly spread throughout day<br />
Conclusion<br />Most influential factor of internal corporate blogging: recognition<br />Need sense of metrics or management buy-in similar to external web analytics<br />Knowledge sharing at work is complex<br />
Before implementing…<br />Understand dynamics of attention allocation in workplace vs. social web<br />Target attention allocation (supply/demand, divert reader to relevant material)<br />Provide feedback mechanism<br />Understand nuances of social vs. work blogging<br />
Future study<br /><ul><li>Growth opportunities of blogging in corporations.
Should management invest in employee time and IT infrastructure costs to support blogging?
How much of internal blogging is social vs. work-related?
Can we measure value of social interactions that may take place?</li></li></ul><li>References<br />Yardi, S., Golder, S. A., and Brzozowski, M. J. (April 2009). Blogging at work and the corporate attention economy. In Proceedings of the 27th international Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Boston, MA, USA, April 04 – 09, 2009). CHI ‘09. ACM, New York, NY, 2071-2080. DOI=http://doi.acm.org.offcampus.lib.washington.edu/10.1145/1518701.1519016<br />http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attention_economy<br />http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/519/440<br />