I really enjoyed the Blogging in Business discussion lead by Dave Weinberger at BloggerCon on Saturday. I now know that the word "blog" is really an acronym that stands for: Better Listing On Google. Seriously, businesses are adopting blogging software because its just a more efficient way to communicate. However, there are barriers to adoption. The lack of transparency is one of the biggest barriers. Some employees simply don't feel comfortable expressing themselves in a blog and I am describing internal blogs, not external voices.
With Channel9 at Microsoft as an example, companies will quickly understand the benefits of transparency that translates into better communication both internally and externally. Customers, developers, and suppliers can all benefit from this increased and open communication. I think the message is that you don't have to represent the opinion of the organization. You have to represent your own opinion as part of the organization. No management in its right mind would shut down effective, well reasoned, and articulate responses to corporate issues.
Some expressed concern that what they wrote would come back to embarrass them later as others dig up stuff that was written years ago. Isn't that the point? If the organization is not learning, its doomed to continual reinvention of the wheel. In addition, I suppose you could always dig up something equally embarrassing about the other person and rely on the doctrine of "mutually assured embarrassment" as a way to achieve the appropriate "tone" in the conversation. It was a good session.