Hotting up an Intranet with microblogging

We have a quite boring Intranet at my work, but some of it suits our internal need like storing policy documents, phone numbers, booking conference rooms and so on. But it’s not IMO hot in any perspective and yes, it doesn’t have to be that but a little bit more maybe would make colleagues use it a bit more. I’ve been a blogger since 2001 and yes, I’m quite active in social networks. It took me sometime before I dared to use Twitter (microblogging) to tell what I’m doing at the moment (How narcissistic ain’t it?). I switched directly to Jaiku because Erik Stattin had and if he did it must be important to do that ;-)

Today I’m glad I did move in time (before Google bought Jaiku and shut down new registrations). Thanks, Erik! Afterwards, I’ve understood the power of blogposting within 140 characters limit. Though the comments has no limit as I know (if I would prefer that also).

I would compare Jaiku with a mix of blogging and “open” chatting or discussion groups. Everyone can read the messages like on blogs but the microformat of it makes it look more like chatting or maybe a discussion group. But it has also adopted the way of diary blogs work. If you don’t know what to write you just tell the world what your doing like:”I’m writing a blog post about microblogging“. Someone reads and maybe asks what blog you mean and sometimes it leads to some knowledge sharing.

My idea since a couple of months is to use microblogging on an Intranet. I know maybe my colleagues which some of them still are sceptical about the meaning of blogging and social networks like Facebook will ask:”What’s the meaning of telling others what you doing?”.

Well, in my library many people work in their own office with no direct contact to most of their colleagues. How to still have a bit of knowledge sharing and work socializing? You can never understimate the power of an open-plan office where several employees sit together in a more open space. Hearing with one ear what’s going on or others do. Okay, it also depends on what type of work you’re doing. Microblogging is an easy oppurtunity and not so time-consuming way of meeting colleagues virtually and knowing what they’re doing.

I often hear the question:”I wonder what xx is doing? xx is on meetings and conferences and I nearly ever meet xx because I’m sitting here and xx is sitting there”. Okay, we have phone, we have email, we have chat, but what about microblogging? It can start by telling colleagues what you’re doing and then maybe you get comments about that and you’re starting knowledge sharing. Here’s a faked example of microblogging:

“Cataloging medieval books from Russia.”

Comment:”Oh, what books are that?”

Comment:”Oh, it’s a donation from xxx professor in Russian language. Didn’t you hear about that at our xx meeting?”

Comment:”Maybe I slept. But do you understand russia”.

Comment:”Yes, quite good at least. I lived there for two years when my husband had his post-doc”.

Comment:”Oh, maybe you can help me translate that great article about librarianship I found. It was of course in Russia”.

Comment:”Well, send it over”.

That’s my example. Fredrik Stenbeck writes in his swedish blog about microblogging and “personal flows”:

“Mail och chat är två kommunikationsmedel som båda har sina bra syften, men i ett företag förblir ofta dessa konversationer låsta till de deltagare som är inblandade. Med Personliga Flöden blir alla konversationer sökbara och tillgängliga för alla i företaget vilket verkligen gagnar värdet på det intellektuella kapitalet. Vidare är detta media ett ypperligt ställa att identifiera expertis”.

A try to a translation: “Mail and chat have their purposes but often these ways to communicate get locked to just participants involved. With “personal flows” all conversations are possible to search and available for all within the comapny which in return gives a value of the intellectual capital. This media is an excellent place to identify expertise”.

Well, my question to readers are? Do you know anyone using microblogging tools for internal communication like at a Intranet? Do you know any open source client software for microblogging? (No, I haven’t googled for that software more than not finding Drupal modules for microblogging).