Company Secrets

By Jim Louderback  |  Posted 2004-05-24 Print this article Print

Blogs Essentially an online diary, blogs make it easy to post text to the Web from anywhere. A new form, the "moblog," uses camera-enabled cell phones to post pictures from anywhere, too.
Read more here about new styles of blogs and RSS.
IT: If your companys bigger than about 1,000 people, youve probably got a blogger in your midst. And since these public journalists spend most of their days at work, theyll probably end up exposing your company secrets online. Make it someones job to assiduously search blog engines—such as Technorati and Feedster—for any mention of your company. When you find a blogger, shut em down under threat of termination! Users: Blogs are a great way to share information among workgroups, as well as a wonderful exercise in narcissism. If you want to talk about your company, though, better use a pseudonym. Middle ground: Internal blogs, inside the firewall, can be great for sharing project information or communicating from management to employees. Theyre even free. Microsoft shops should consider the open-source, dot-net based Dot Text (what we use for our blogs here at Ziff Davis Media), while Googles Blogger and Movable Type will set you up with secure blogs as well. Click here to read about Movable Types decision to charge for its update. And take a cue from famously secretive Microsoft. A public blog, written by a well-informed and coached employee, can be a great thing for your corporate perception. The Scobleizer is a great read, and a good thing for everyone as well. Set up guidelines for what can and cannot be posted, and make sure your users agree to them. Wiki Groupware from the ground up. An inverted form of Notes, these Web sites allow anyone with a user name and password to change or add pages at will. Sort of a multiuser blog, but so much more. IT: Locking down Wikis will be tough. Set your routers and firewalls to support only outbound traffic to certain key, trusted domains. Users: Since they behave just like any other Web page, just dont tell anyone youre using it, and youll be fine. Middle ground: Lotus Notes shops will be amazed by how much more useful and productive effectively managed and supported Wikis can be. I recommend that users and IT meet in the middle here. Create a Wiki server that fits within your permission and access hierarchy and sits inside the firewall. Take a look at Ross Mayfields SocialText for a Wiki thats at least trying to be corporate-friendly. Next Page: The ups and downs of peer-to-peer capabilities.

With more than 20 years experience in consulting, technology, computers and media, Jim Louderback has pioneered many significant new innovations.

While building computer systems for Fortune 100 companies in the '80s, Jim developed innovative client-server computing models, implementing some of the first successful LAN-based client-server systems. He also created a highly successful iterative development methodology uniquely suited to this new systems architecture.

As Lab Director at PC Week, Jim developed and refined the product review as an essential news story. He expanded the lab to California, and created significant competitive advantage for the leading IT weekly.

When he became editor-in-chief of Windows Sources in 1995, he inherited a magazine teetering on the brink of failure. In six short months, he turned the publication into a money-maker, by refocusing it entirely on the new Windows 95. Newsstand sales tripled, and his magazine won industry awards for excellence of design and content.

In 1997, Jim launched TechTV's content, creating and nurturing a highly successful mix of help, product information, news and entertainment. He appeared in numerous segments on the network, and hosted the enormously popular Fresh Gear show for three years.

In 1999, he developed the 'Best of CES' awards program in partnership with CEA, the parent company of the CES trade show. This innovative program, where new products were judged directly on the trade show floor, was a resounding success, and continues today.

In 2000, Jim began developing, a daily, live, 8 hour TechTV news program called TechLive. Called 'the CNBC of Technology,' TechLive delivered a daily day-long dose of market news, product information, technology reporting and CEO interviews. After its highly successful launch in April of 2001, Jim managed the entire organization, along with setting editorial direction for the balance of TechTV.

In the summer or 2002, Jim joined Ziff Davis Media to be Editor-In-Chief and Vice President of Media Properties, including, Microsoft Watch, and the websites for PC Magazine, eWeek and ZDM's gaming publications.


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