Blogging in business – an inspiring evening with Euan Semple

January 31, 2013

Euan Semple first inspired me to explore blogging and online collaboration in a business setting. Back in 2004 or so, I heard him speak about his work at the BBC and had the opportunity to visit his lab over in W12. And last week it was great to hear him inspire another roomful of lawyers and knowledge managers at our first SCL KM seminar of 2013. Euan succeeds in cutting through all the guff and puff that so often accompanies anything badged ‘social’ to focus on what really matters. That said, he is the master of the soundbite. Two I will be recycling are “How can you be a thought leader if you don’t tell anyone what you are thinking?” and “Rediscovering the passion in our sanitised work environments”.  

There were too many practical tips and takeaways to include here but key pointers for anyone working on internal blogging and online collaboration initiatives included the need for those leading the charge to “walk the talk” and to be seen “to use the tools to manage the tools”; and to allow those tools to look and be a little different to the standard (corporate intranet). I sensed a wave of shared relief as the audience heard that it’s not only in legal that it’s a challenge to make people feel comfortable to use blogs and similar tools in a work setting. This was the main issue raised in group discussion. Euan recommended working initially with teams and groups that already have a degree of trust and connection and building out from there. And also giving due time and focus to ongoing facilitation and support.  

I was interested to hear Euan say that 10 years+ on from him starting blogging and masterminding their introduction at the BBC, he still thinks blogs are the tool with the longest shelf life – whether used for individual opinion and comment or group discussion. Either way, and particularly when being used for knowledge sharing, effective linking out to supporting materials is a key part of their value. Mobile access is an emerging challenge – although internal, people expect to be alerted and to be able to access both the posts and the links just as they can with their other networks.  

That’s all from me but it would be great if other attendees could add their key takeaways and feedback. You can find out more about Euan and his work @euan on Twitter and at