An ideal company blog tool
21 August 2005
There's lots of small pieces of knowledge in our company. Not the kind of knowledge that requires thinking but stuff like,
- where's the black stapler
- how to add a domain to the xyz-server apache config
- who to call to sort out the airconditioner
Most of this core "knowledge" we have tried to store in a relatively structured Wiki (we use zwiki) which has been a really good start. It's good because whenever I need to refresh my memory on some IP address or how to install a printer I can go to our company wiki and search for it there.
The problem is that it's such a choir to maintain the wiki. It takes several seconds to go there, log in and (biggest bore) to find the most appropriate places to write anything new or where to update something old. I know I sound disgustingly lazy, but when you have to do it many times per day you want the software to help you rather than being an obstacle. I'm now instead looking for a different solution: a blog!
Blogs are great because they feel familiar and there are generic tools surrounding them such as neatly designed templates and RSS readers. There are more ready Wiki solutions than good Knowledge Base solutions; and there are more blog solutions than there are Wiki solutions. This means that there are better options for getting really good software and keeping that software maintained. An added benefit of using a blog for maintaining team knowledge is that there's a natural chronological order to it. That means that old blog posts are less relevant than new ones which becomes a useful benefit when you search for pieces of knowledge. I want something like this for my company. All people should post small blog items every day for all tasks they do that might happen again. It could also be used just to think loud and to let other people know what you're working on.
Can you help? I need some suggestions on good blogging tools for a closed group (Blogger.com don't offer password protected blogs). Here's what we'd need:
- ability to quickly post to it with GUI apps and good web admin for posting
- ability to secure (or even better, to host it ourselfs) access
- non-proprietary storage/ ability to export & back up content
- not Microsoft
- fast and with great sorting/filtering functions and a clever search tool
Any suggestions? I'm confident that we're ready to pay for it so it doesn't have to be GPL (for once :).