Early next week IBM will introduce the largest ever corporate blogging initiative in a bid to encourage any of its 130,000 staff to become online evangelists for the company.
Employees will taught what blogging is, and they will be guided on what is appropriate blogging content. IBM has also set up a wiki, a simple technology that allows groups to collaborate on projects and share knowledge. Wikis are not as sophisticated as IBM’s Notes collaborative software, but they are making significant inroads within corporate departments where they sometimes displace the use of the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.
The goal is to help improve IBM’s competitive position in key IT markets by having more of its tech gurus participating in online communities and discussions.
This type of evangelism through blogging can be extremely effective and potentially reduce advertising and marketing costs—a very large line item for most companies.
IBM’s blogging initiative includes the publication of interviews with staff who are already bloggers and are well recognized within their online communities.