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He Said What? Reigning In Corporate Web 2.0

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The progressives these days are running around the office shouting unintelligible words (to the old folks) like “blogs” and “wikis.” Attorneys and public relations managers duck and cover when this happens, even if the marketing team is dancing beside their cubicles (blogs and wikis are great, efficient, and economical ways to reach the masses).

It means more work for message police (that’s attorneys and PR guys) because Web 2.0 is wild and hairy, rampant with that whole “free speech” thing, which is fine for general society, but not for employees. Yes, transparency is important nowadays, they know, but you can’t have everybody playing the role of the street-corner prophet, now can you?

“A blog or wiki is simply another Web site among the tens to hundreds of sites a company must manage. For example, a wiki could be used to create a competitive analysis or review documentation online, and a blog might be utilized to gather immediate feedback from employees, partners and customers about new product features,” said Dan Ryan, executive vice president of marketing and business development for Stellent, Inc.

Though the communicative value is there, Ryan acknowledged that these functionalities need to be managed effectively. It’s only a matter of time until blogs and wikis become part of the managed environment and companies begin looking for ways to harness and control their new communication tool.

“Companies increasingly recognize the business value wikis and blogs can generate and are looking for ways to bring these technologies into the enterprise,” said Lou Latham, research analyst for Gartner, Inc.

“However, there is high concern among organizations regarding how wikis and blogs can be securely managed and monitored to protect confidential or proprietary information and mitigate risk.”

Last month, Stellent jumped into the game with the release of a management platform to help companies add blogs and wikis to the websites they already run while maintaining control over disseminated content. They call it a “Universal Content Management” strategy.

Using WYSIWYG forms, employee authors are offered a way to post content online without HTML expertise. Stellent’s technology also allows managers to track who posted changes and additions, and when they were posted, so attorneys and PR guys can keep the whole thing from falling apart into a pile of lawsuits and controversies.

That is, unless you’re from the “no such thing as bad publicity” camp.

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He Said What? Reigning In Corporate Web 2.0
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