Dark Blogs: The Use of Blogs in Business

When people think about ‘business blogs’, they usually think about blogs used as marketing tools by businesses who want to open a dialogue with the public. Thus discussions about business blogging tend to revolve around issues like authenticity, transparency, honesty and voice.

There is, however, a ‘dark matter’ of blogs which we know exists but which we cannot observe directly. These ‘dark blogs’ are those used internally by companies for purposes such as team management, event logging, cross-shift communications or knowledge sharing. Because dark blogs are behind the firewall we can’t see them, can’t evaluate their usefulness or find out what hurdles had to be jumped in their implementation.

Yet, because blogs are easy to use, flexible and cost-effective, they are an obvious choice for business use. Coupled with RSS feeds, aggregators, and other social software, it is possible to create a powerful knowledge sharing system which can be used with minimal training and IT outlay.

For the last few months I have been talking to a number of blog software vendors and blog technology companies, along with businesses that are using blogs behind the firewall, and have gained their support for a new research project – Dark Blogs.

In Dark Blogs I shall be interviewing businesses from a variety of industry sectors to find out how they use blogs, RSS feeds, aggregators and other social software; what challenges they faced and how they surmounted them; and the impact that blogging has had on their business.

The case studies, some of which will include a podcast/webcast, will be published here on Strange Attractor under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. The first one is already underway, so keep your eyes open for it!

If you are interested in being a sponsor or a case study, please email me and I will send you a prospectus.

3 thoughts on “Dark Blogs: The Use of Blogs in Business

  1. Lauren Wood just published an article on a similar topic (or which at least includes the similar topic) at the Gilbane Report, and blogged about it as well. She talked to me as part of her research, since Navarik, the company I work for, uses blogs both “dark” and “light,” and has been encouraging our customers to do the same, including in some unusual ways:

    http://www.navarik.com/home/windward/2005/02/#002646

    http://www.laurenwood.org/anyway/archives/2005/03/02/corporate-blogswikis-article/

    http://www.gilbane.com/gilbane_report.pl/104/Blogs__Wikis_Technologies_for_Enterprise_Applications.html

  2. Derek, yes, I saw the Gilbane report and have been meaning to blog about it. It’s a good, positive report, but not thorough enough in my opinion. Dark Blogs will be going into a lot more detail than Lauren Wood has, and really trying to get into the nitty gritty of blog use behind the firewall.

  3. A call out for internal blogs

    Internal blogs, or “dark blogs”, are blogs used “behind the firewall”, as an internal tool. As a part of my master thesis I want to research how these internal blogs have been adoptet, how they are used, by whom and what experie…

Comments are closed.