UK Web Focus

Innovation and best practices for the Web

Archive for May 19th, 2009

You Care About Innovation? Then Tell Me What You Think, Not Who You Work For!

Posted by Brian Kelly (UK Web Focus) on 19 May 2009

I recently commented how Twitter provides a means for not only finding out and discussing new ideas but also establishing and developing new professional relationships. And sometimes the contacts may take place initially in the blogosphere which can then be supported by discussions, or even just listening, on Twitter.

But how easy do we make it for others to establish new contacts and engage in discussions in this way?  I was thinking about this in the context of a comment made recently by Nicole Harris who described howthe fact that I am connected to JISC in my e-mail address is important…“. As I wanted to read Nicole’s blog to see what else she’d written on this topic I Googled “Nicole Harris JISC Blog” -  and found that her staff page on the JISC Web site was the first hit. This page provided contact details (including her JISC email address) and a brief summary of her areas of work – but no link to her blog. I had to scan through the Google results more carefully before finding her JISC Access Management Team blog – and, interestingly the link was to a post entitled “The opinions expressed on this blog are only the opinions of…?” which concluded with the questions:

- As a manager at JISC, should my blog posts reflect my personal opinions or that of the corporate body of JISC?

- How can senior managers within our organisations best understand the role of web2 platforms so we don’t get our wrists slapped for being vocal on such platforms?

- Should we be vocal on such plaforms?

- Should policies be governed by communication mode (i.e. blogging), platform (JISC Involve versus general WordPress) or job role (would this policy be different for me and mark, who now lives in JISC Collections but continues to blog with me)?

Now a discussion about the contents of a blog is worthy of another post. In this post my interest is in how one’s active participation in innovation can be surfaced for the wider community. Shouldn’t it be the address of the blog which is included in one’s profile in various social networking services (e.g. Link-in).  And shouldn’t a staff page on one’s organisational Web site link to the place where views and opinions are being surfaced and discussions take place?

Surely if you care about innovation (which I know Nicole does) then you’ll make it easy for your user community and your peers to find out what you think and help then to engage in the discussions and debate? And these days that is increasingly likely to take place on blogs and via Twitter. And the debate never took place on instituional Web sites, did it?

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