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Limitations and Alternatives to Internal Microblogging

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Limitations of Internal Microblogging:

Microblogging tools have a relevant place within the enterprise for team collaboration. However, if you are considering microblogging as a wide reaching internal communication channel, keep in mind the following limitations:

  1. Limited context
  2. Reach / Uptake
  3. Engaging content
  4. Security versus cost
  5. Information overload
  6. Alternatives to microblogging

 


Limitation 1 - Effective Internal Communication is about Providing Context

A short update without context or supporting information can be hard to understand. Consider the types of messages that will be sent via internal microblogging channels and plan strategies accordingly.

 

Limitation 2 – Reach and Uptake

Microblogging is typically an opt-in messaging system. Once an employee has set up an account they then choose to follow specific people and streams. These steps can negatively impact the reach of the channel and hence uptake can be limited.

 

Limitation 3 - Engaging Content

For microblogging to be successful as a 'mass' internal communications tool, there needs to be a stream of regular engaging content that staff will take the time to follow and read. Many organizations struggle to find interesting content for internal blogs and newsletters. Microblogging can present even more of a content challenge.

 

Limitation 4 - Security

Some microblogging solutions are in the public domain or provide free versions with less functionality and security. User groups can install the software themselves. By the time an organization realizes that a paid version is required, difficult decisions may need to be made regarding switching off the access altogether or limiting microblogging access to certain users.

Limitation 5 - Information overload

Chatter and irrelevant updates via internal microblogging channels can dilute the effectiveness of the channel and cause those employees who have opted in to stop following.

Alternatives to Microblogging:

 

Traditional internal communications may not be suitable for delivery via an internal microblogging channels. For example, the CEO might want to 'tweet' updates but are staff really going to follow them?

Scrolling desktop news feeds

Instead of a CEO microblog, if the content is important enough, consider sending short scrolling headlines to targeted staff computers. This allows you to send ‘tweet like’ messages to employees in a secure format that doesn’t require opt in. Targeting features mean that only employees who will find the content relevant will receive the update.

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Desktop New feed Example

This will allow you to initiate conversations and maintain direct interaction with staff without messages becoming buried.

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Internal Newsletter Examples

 

 

 

 

User generated staff magazines

can be used to aggregate relevant messages and updates. SnapMag allows employees to submit their own stories, updates and hyperlinks in an auto aggregated magazine that is subsequently delivered directly to the desktop of targeted staff. Editorial controls allow you to approve and reorder items. Customizable templates make it easy to brand magazines into compelling formats. Variable article expiry functionality means that ‘short shelf’ life messages do not clutter up the magazine.


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Screensaver Channel

 

 


 

Desktop emergency alerts

Twitter and other microblogging channels can be a very fast way for staff to become aware of emergencies...however, speed doesn’t always equal accuracy. Microblogging can act as fast and inaccurate rumor mill too. Consider desktop alerts to get accurate updates out to the right people, fast.

 

Visual teasers to drive staff to contextual content

Interactive screensavers and scrolling desktop headlines can be great ways to push updates to staff which can be clicked to follow links to more contextual content on the intranet or elsewhere.


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