ibm-logo7So we’ve already covered a lot of issues concerning blog management and organization, but we have yet to delve into the type of atmosphere where the rules and guidelines of the blog are not necessarily decided by the social media execs. What we’re talking about here is a new and innovative way to open up communication, creativity, trust and responsibility to a degree that in the past has been deemed as too risky and dangerous for the company to allow. However, IBM dove right in to the untouched waters.

Ethan McCarty, editor and chief of IBM’s intranet developed a set of guidelines with employees. Instead of going to the user community and dictating the rules IBM took on a more interactive and communal approach by asking the question: What are the rules going to be? McCarty says that this type of free-thought is what makes IBM the massive and successful company it is today with their blogging project encompassing 350,000 employees from all around the world.

This reflects IBM’s high level of trust and responsibility they have for their employees and is also a great way for the employees to feel as if they are contributing their own voices and ideas without feeling like a watchdog is monitoring their every post. IBM decided to go about pursuing this intranet blog after realizing that many of their employees were already blogging about the company with even an unofficial internal one already present. So IBM took the initiative and found those employees who were doing most of the blogging and got them involved in creating guidelines and contributing to user-generated content. By making it officially IBM, they were able to respond to their employees comments in a much more organized and relational fashion empowering not only the thousands of employees but more importantly empowering their ideas.

McCarty really hammered home the point of the importance and economic benefit of communication, which I think many companies need to take into very serious consideration when he said,”It’s a good way to find opportunities and sense threats…” Well that’s it for this post. See you all soon.