Blogs and SharePoint 2007

February 23, 2007

This article has been moved here…..

In “Its all about the Blog” we discussed how the Blog has gone from being a simple medium of communication to a powerful media tool, and “Blogs and KM” addressed the issue of managing knowledge in an organization through Blogs. Since the last few posts have focused on certain aspects of the Sharepoint 2007 server ( MOSS 2007 ) i decided to do a small article on how Blogs were implemented in this environment.

Microsoft realized that in creating a content authoring platform they couldn’t afford to leave out the one aspect that has revolutionized the method by which content authoring is being tackled today, namely blogs. So in an effort to harness Blogs and promote their use in a corporate setting Microsoft introduced Blogs in their latest version of Sharepoint.

Being true to Blogs Microsoft hasnt tampered too much with the basic layout, which means there is a seamless transition to corporate blogging for people who are already familiar with the concept of personal blogs.

They’ve incorporated a complete gamut of features that we’ve come to expect from any Blog.

Some of these are :

  • Comments
  • Categories
  • Blogroll
  • Search
  • Permalink
  • RSS feeds
  • Calendar

Using the Sharepoint platform allows for certain additional features to be incorporated into the Blog. You can now publish information on your blog via e-mail’s, this includes sending documents as attachments ( something most blogs dont support ). API support for word 2007 actually allows you to directly interface with your blog and submit content through a word document on your desktop. Advanced features like Sharepoint permissions can be inherited and used throughout the Blog.

Multiple Authors can contribute to the same blog, and since the Blog ( like most of the features on Sharepoint ) is built on Webparts it really allows an amazing level of customization. Mobile View allows users to access blogs on Sharepoint via their mobile phones, a very useful feature as the percentage of people living on their Blackberry’s and Treo’s seem to be growing at an alarming pace.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of using the Sharepoint Platform to host your Blog is the fact that you can get details like user contact info and such as the application interfaces directly with the organizations exchange server. A feature that most corporate would definitely find very useful.


Building a successful blog

February 16, 2007

This article has been moved here…..

Blogging has become the cornerstone of information distribution for most people around the world. It allows you to get your ideas and views out to the entire world, and in some cases lay the seed for very interesting debates.

Creating a blog is the easiest thing in the world, unless you want to host it on a dedicated domain there are hundreds of sites out there that offer free blog services. The advantages of this are 2 fold. You get to save on money and more importantly become a member of an large family of bloggers.

So how do you build a successful blog? Well, the fundementals are simple Content, Content, Content. Unless you have decent content on your site you can be sure you’ll fail even before you get started. Now, that we have that sorted out ( we are under the assumption that you do have decent content for this blog of yours ) we’ll tackle the issues that will take your blog to the next level, gaining visibility.

Leave Comments :

Leaving comments is part of the foundation for starting a blog community. Most bloggers would be happy to respond to your questions, only if you are sincere. Do not use comments as a way of increasing the traffic on your site, that will happen gradually. Meaningful discourse is the target here.

Trackbacks :

A trackback is a mechanism that allows bloggers to keep track of which blogs have commmented on their articles and if those articles have influenced other blogs. It’s a great way to start a community and get bloggers to read each others blogs. The plus point about this is that it helps in increasing the traffic flowing to your blog, which lets face it isnt altogether a bad thing.

Tags :

Tags make it easy to navigate a blog and find what you’re looking for. Tags are category names and people can select keywords for their posts. Usually you will see keyword names on the side navigation of a blog. It is also helps the you, the blogger as it helps to organize your blog and eventually your thoughts. Creating a structured layout is very useful to your visitors as it gives them a lot more information to go through, information they might have missed if not for the tags.

The single biggest blunder bloggers can make?? Not updating your content regularily enough. This is a sure way to lose readers on your site as most users ( if they’ve decided your blog is interesting ) expect new content on a regular basis. So keep this in mind, losing readers are a lot easier than gaining new ones.


Blogs and KM

February 15, 2007

This article has been moved here…..

Estimates have blogs growing at the rate of 20,000 every day. Now thats quite a figure. Just imagine if you were able to tap into that vast array of blogs and extract something useful. Then imagine you could do this on a daily basis, would make your life a lot easier wouldnt it?

So what makes them such marvelous information houses? well for one, it can be run by pretty much anyone, a single individual, a group or an organization. A simple layout allows people to collaborate , share presentations and other documents. It’s very well structured, allowing articles to be grouped by specific categories and to top it all of it searchable. Now put a couple of hundred of these together and you get the picture.

A platform thats easy to manage , that can easily be scaled up to meet requirements of any size and the best part, most blogging software is available free of cost and even the ones that arent are resonably inexpensive. Always a bright idea if you can cook up ways of saving your company a couple of bucks.

Individual blogs allow corporates to communicate with their employees, clients, vendors. Putting a human face to the company unlike the memo’s that every corporate employee recieves when something of any significance ( well, most of the time ) occurs.

Blogs at the team level allow much greater collaboration that was possible before, ideas, thoughts and musing can be captured. Information that is generally lost in a large forum of ideas. Simply, they are perfect tools for capturing and harnessing tacit knowledge in the organization.

So, if you’re company hasnt started using blogs you might want to broach the topic to them. Start small, stay internal till you come up with a blogging strategy to maximize the effectiveness of the message and you might just surprise yourself.


Its all about the Blog

February 15, 2007

This article has been moved here…..

Blogs have caused quite a stir since their inception. Now the average joe has the power to reach audiences across the globe, and the best part about it? it doesnt cost a cent!! Even mainstream media is recognizing it’s unprecedented growth and the effect on society at large.

Corporates have slowly started waking up to the huge oppurtunties of this vast means of communication. The main attraction? well, for most companies interacting with their customers, building relationships and getting vital feedback. Not to mention growing their existing business.

The major hurdle faced by most corporates is the lack of a well thought out blogging strategy. A corporate blog is the face of a company, and all it takes is one mistake to wreak untold damage to its image. And so we face the biggest disadvantage of corporate blogging, rules!!

I’ve read a number of articles that tackle how various corporations have overcome hurdles to create an enviroment that facilitates information sharing using blogs, will put down a few in the days to come. Hope you find them interesting.