Blogs, wikis and email for announcements
By user12625760 on Oct 02, 2008
I've been having a conversation with some colleagues about how to communicate announcements within Sun and rather than do this via email I thought I would go a bit off topic for this blog and post it here.
Why I think a blog is a good place to put announcements.
Email provides a fantastic one to one or one to many communication medium but only if the “many” are all known to you. Sending out large announcements via email is likely to cause large numbers of the potential audience to ignore you. If you want this sort of broadcast medium I would suggest a blog.
Blogs being largely write once and then read only are a great way to put out announcements so that they can be subscribed to by users using the blog's RSS feed and consumed either by a blog reader or even by thunderbird so that they look like emails. Or you can read them directly via the web or via a blog reading web site like google.com/reader. They will get indexed via search engines and so can be found by occasional readers while at the same time those who want to can subscribe to them to get the latest news or views when they are posted.
There are wikis and there are wikis so to some degree the question as to when they are good and bad depends on the wiki. However I've not found a wiki yet that has a really good RSS feed for handling announcements. They are great for cooperative working or for community documentation (eg wikipedia) but for announcements they lack concise RSS feeds or notification methods that don't either suffer from too much noise (changing a single typo results in the entire page being in the RSS feed) or don't send enough updates (the feed is per page so having an announcement per page does not produce a good stream of announcements). Some wikis allow you to build complex RSS feeds based on search criteria that may allow a feed to be built but this is really for a power user and so I've not found it suitable for announcements.