The Month’s Guest Blog Post

The guest blog spot for November provides an opportunity to hear from participants at an event I have participated at recently. We start with Pernille Helholm‘s reflections on the half day Blogging Masterclass facilitated by myself and Kara Jones.

About Me

I work at a large company within the medical device industry in Copenhagen, Denmark. I am a (solo) librarian, information specialist and furthermore I attend The Master of Library and Information Science programme at The Danish School of librarianship.

At work my tasks are providing competitor surveillance, scientific searches, patent searches, supplying our users with all kind of information in the form of journal, books, web pages, etc. and to guide them through the various systems.

Furthermore (and very important!) I have to develop the library services all the time. I also have a blog at

The Guest Blog Post

Last year at Internet Librarian International 2006 I discovered a new world of social software, new and easy ways of communicating, the concept of sharing and some great new aspects of librarianship. So this year I signed up for the ILI2007 conference without hesitation. It was obvious to me, that I should attend the pre-conference Masterclass on Using Blogs Effectively within Your Organisation facilitated by Brian Kelly and Kara Jones.

During the past year I had explored many of the new social software tools and with the help of blogs, RSS, and online friends I constantly discovered new possibilities! And from all those tools I really find that blogging can be a very useful tool in an organisation like the one I work for.

I can see that it would be an excellent way for people within the organisation to share ideas, look for solutions to old and new problems, generate and administrate new ideas that lead to innovation.

Therefore, I decided that my goals for this masterclass were to bring home ideas and inspiration about blogging and share it with my organisation.

But how, where and when do I begin? Brian and Kara’s masterclass was right on target for finding answers to my questions. And I am happy to say, it was an absolute highlight at the conference for me. I have made a list of things that I particularly liked:

  • The practical angle and down to earth approach.
  • Our hosts talked about their personal experiences with blogging, which made it easy to relate to.
  • They managed to involve the attendants with “voting” and group assignments.
  • The handouts! Very practical and condensed format. Not just copies of the slides! Useful!
  • The laughs and the relaxed, personal attitude of the speakers.
  • The many good points they had to convince management and co-workers.
  • The wiki that Kara updated with our input.
  • That sometimes, it’s better to ask for forgiveness than to beg for permission.

I can find very few points for improvement, other than that it was much too short. I think that a full day with hands-on training would be very suitable. And for the next time I think it would be better to sit in an U-shape to improve interaction between the participants. I went back to my hotel with many thoughts in mind and I found that this Masterclass did give me answers to my questions of how, where and when to begin, plus a lot more! What I learned at the Masterclass has given me inspiration to start as soon as I get back to work

As I already described, I believe that blogging will be great for the company. But now I can put words and action to my thoughts. And I think the right way to start will be to get rid of my old one-way-information-intranet-web page and replace it with a blog. I decided, not to wait for permission from our IT department.

Practically, I will install a WordPress blog on an in-house server, so that I can keep the – often confidential – information between the walls of the company. I can use the features of a blog to share news otherwise distributed by mail and I can make additional pages for other content. After the initial launch of the blog, this will provide a great opportunity to start teaching my users about RSS in order to receive the library news on their desktop!

In a way you could call it a pilot project for internal blogging. It is going to be a great showcase for my users, and I am so sure that it will make a lot of people interested in blogging as a tool for the company!

And if anyone from the management or other sceptics will ask “What’s the big deal about blogging?” or “Why do we need one?” or “What’s wrong with e-mail?”, I will know what to answer!