Julie Delazyn is a social media expert and journalist,she has turned the Questionmark blog (http://blog.questionmark.com) into one of the most widely read blogs in assessment. Here are her views on how SharePoint is helping change the way we blog:
Social media and social networks have become interlaced with the way we share information as companies, as marketers and even as people. While we come from a culture of sharing news through more formal networks such as the media, we have slowly gone into blogging as a way to share information anywhere and at any time sans the traditional gatekeeper or editor. It has given people a chance to become experts in their field by sharing information online and growing a readership that, if enthused, will retweet and Facebook your thoughts and articles.
This, when you stop to think about it, is revolutionary. Anyone anywhere can write their opinion on any subject under the straightforward notion of blogging. This isn’t a journalist hiding behind a byline to push an opinion. This is a person: a CEO, a fitness coach or even a fashion editor, all with their own expertise and their own opinions.
SharePoint is taking this revolution to the next level. By offering an interactive platform for easy blogging within SharePoint, one is now reverted back to a place where one’s blog no longer feels like a lonely island floating in the World Wide Web, but a fixture in a place shared by many with a common ground. Much like a sports magazine may publish the opinion of a famous football coach, a blog in SharePoint appropriately houses a contextual opinion that belongs there, making it easier to be seen, read and shared.
Like blogging with WordPress or Blogger, a blog within SharePoint is easy enough to set up. You can pick a theme and a look and customize your blog with lists and categories. If you are a coding junkie, you can do a lot more. But with already established collaboration functions, blogging within SharePoint means working in a web-based collaborative environment, and if your organization uses SharePoint, then this becomes the natural place to blog. Whereas WordPress, Blogger or any other blog site is set up so that you are swiftly blogging on the internet, SharePoint creates a natural environment for blogging within an organization. This is the key difference. Whether you begin blogging straight from Word, or stumble upon an article you’d like to embed in an entry, this collaborative environment makes it easy to integrate and jump from one application to another by using the already interactive tools at your disposal. This is how we are now interacting and learning from each other, as is explained in the 70+20+10 model, and the ease in which we can incorporate these functions is important to the way we learn from one another.
While I look forward to seeing which kind of innovation this may open up in terms of blogging within a “dyi” open source context, I am more intrigued about the changes that will occur in the way we share our opinions and invite people to belong to our individual and growing clouds. This is another way to share, another way to weave a web of opinion, followership and most importantly, innovation.