Welcome to My New Blog!

I have been trying to figure out some way to communicate with our employees on some sort of regular basis. I considered a “Webcast.” In fact, we even video-taped one. But, frankly, it looked forced and artificial. We ended up scuttling the project.

A Welcome Mat - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/sjlocke, Image #5590220

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/sjlocke

I also considered sending out a semi-regular e-mail blast. This certainly has its advantages. For starters, I can communicate to almost every employee without any initiative on their part. In addition, it’s free.

However, after thinking about it for a few weeks and after consulting with a few of our executives, I decided to set up a blog (short for “Web Log”). That’s what you are reading now.

I think it has several advantages:

  1. It is a familiar medium. It’s different than a book or a newsletter, to be sure, but it is still publishing. As a company, this is a medium we understand. Also, as a writer myself, it’s a medium I understand, which is important if I’m going to do this on a regular basis. I have been writing another blog for several months and have enjoyed the process. It allows me to write whenever I want without the expectation that it has to be at regular intervals
  2. It provides a mechanism for feedback. E-mail does this, too, of course. All you have to do is “Reply.” However, it excludes other people from the conversation unless you “Reply All.” Unfortunately, that would generate hundreds of e-mail messages since I would be sending the original e-mail to more than 600 employees. By contrast, this blog allows for comments (see the bottom of this post). You can even enter your comments anonymously if you wish.
  3. It provides an archive of communications. This feature allows you to catch up if you have missed some of my posts. I think it might also prove helpful to new employees, allowing them to read the entries that interest them whenever they have the opportunity or interest.
  4. It may encourage you to start your own blog. I have been hoping that we would have several employees start blogging. Many companies are now doing this, including Microsoft. They have over 1,000 employees blogging. This is a great way to encourage communication within the company. It is also a great way to let the outside world know what goes on inside a company like ours. It can also be a low-key way to promote our company and our products.
  5. It is cheap. TypePad, the blogging service I use, charges just $4.95 a month. It’s hard to beat that. If you are interested in writing your own blog, TypePad offers a 30-day free trial.

Here’s how I anticipate this working. Periodically, I will write a new post. It might be several per week or one a month. I honestly can’t predict the frequency. Regardless, I will send out an e-mail to everyone when I do, alerting you that a new entry has been posted. From there, it’s up to you.

Please do provide me with feedback. I want to hear “the good, the bad, and the ugly.” If you disagree with me or want to provide an alternative perspective, go for it! If you are uncomfortable using your real name, use an alias. The important thing is to tell me what’s on your mind.

Question: So, what do you think? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • Bob Sennett

    Great idea, Mike! It’s in my bookmarks.

  • Adrian Aizpiri

    Excellent format! It’s more pleasurable to read than an email.

  • Bob Sennett

    Adrian,
    I don’t see you in the phone list. New at Nelson?

  • Brenda Noel

    What a fabulous idea! Nelson is so large and there are so many divisions and departments, it’s easy to begin feeling disconnected. It seems this one attempt to communicate and give everyone a voice will go far toward a remedy. Thank you for your efforts to bring unity and community.
    Blessings,
    Brenda

  • Bob Sennett

    Mike,
    Can you set it up to number the comments in the thread?

  • Ron Land

    Mike: For 25 years I have been following your electronic exploits. If I remember correctly, that goes back almost to the birth of the PC.

    Now you have inspired me once again to try something new. I am going to start my own blog. What’s even more interesting is I know what I am going to write about.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

    Ron Land, TNI

  • W. Mark Whitlock

    Mr. Hyatt: Thanks for coming to our NMS off-site team meeting today and sharing your thoughts. I’m glad you have a “what I’m reading” section on your blog. You can tell a lot about a man by what he reads. I’ve been a fan of your other blog. I expectantly followed your conversion to PowerBook. Congratulations! It’s a pleasure working on your team.

  • http://www.acemakr.com Gary Potter

    It’s good to see another executive blog. I work at Sabre Holdings and am working on an effort to get us into that space. I am here via an RSS feed to your “other blog”. Speaking of RSS, if your readers subscribed to your RSS feed, you’d not have to send out an email alert that a new post is available. But, this early on, RSS is probably not that well know around your company – I know it’s not here at Sabre. By the way, I’ve subscribed to your feed.

    Gary

  • http://www.MaryHollingsworth.com Mary Hollingsworth

    Mike,

    Thanks for including me on your blog list. As one of W Publishing’s out-of-house managing editors, I often feel disconnected and out of touch with what’s happening in house. Your blog will help me feel more in the loop. Perhaps each division could have its own blog to keep folks in other divisions apprised of upcoming events and happenings.

    I may also set up my own blog. As a writer too, it sounds like fun and a great way to stay in touch with people in the medium with which I’m most comfortable. I could just add a link from my Web site to my blog.

    By the way, great article on you in CBA Marketplace that came to me by email for the first time today–another electronic innovation for our industry.

    I appreciate your leadership and foresight.

    Blessings,

    Mary

  • http://michaelhyatt.blogs.com Michael Hyatt

    Guys, thanks for your great comments. Excellent! A couple of you said you are thinking about blogging. Take a look at my post on my other blog about Corporate Blogging Guidelines. You can find it here:

    http://michaelhyatt.blogs.com/workingsmart/2005/03/corporate_blogg_1.html

    Also, Bob, I’m not sure what you mean by “numbering the comments.” I don’t think TypePad.com (my blogging service) provides this functionality.

    Thanks,

    Mike

  • http://www.shared-spaces.com Michael Sampson

    Michael, this is a brilliant move for building social engagement within Thomas Nelson … and perfect timing for my publication today of a white paper on “Building Social Engagement through Presence, Blogs and IM”. Check it out at http://www.shared-spaces.com/blog/2005/03/pillar_5_build_.html … your new blog is featured as a case study on page 7. Again, major kudos … as I say in my paper, you obviously “get it”.

  • http://michaelhyatt.blogs.com Michael Hyatt

    Michael,

    I read your white paper. Fascinating. Some of us are also experimenting with IM. I also bought an iSight Web cam and am testing it, too. We have so many new communication tools available. It will be exciting to see how these help corporations improve communication and morale. Thanks for your comments!

    Mike

  • Frank Rechtorovic

    Michael,

    I’m a regular reader of your Working Smart blog and I decided to click the link and read your new blog. As someone who is considering starting my own blog, I clicked on the link for Typepad and was unable to get to the link. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that there is an extra “https” in the link.

    Thanks for taking the time to blog.

  • http://michaelhyatt.blogs.com Michael Hyatt

    Frank,

    Thanks. Good catch. I have corrected the links. They should be working now.

    Mike

  • Bob Sennett

    Mike,
    Re your post at 05:46 PM on March 29: I mean automatic consecutive numbering of each comment in a thread (see, for example, Free Republic). It is very good to have this for long threads. This functionality also allows participants in a thread to interact with each other’s comments, since they would have the option of replying to a specific comment rather than to the main post. (It would have referenced your comment as #10 or whatever.) It livens up the discussions, too! (The down side is that people can tend to go off topic.) But I note your observation that TypePad doesn’t provide this. Just a thought!

  • Wayne Hastings

    Thanks, Mike for inspiring all of us to better communicate, cut to the chase and help everyone understand our business.

  • http://michaelhyatt.blogs.com Michael Hyatt

    Bob, yes unfortunately, I don’t have that functionality. That sounds like more of a discussion group thing. Hmm. Maybe we should set up an employee discussion group. That would be interesting!

  • Terry Draughon

    Mike: Thanks for attending and participating in our off-site meeting yesterday. I appreciated your comments there and I especially appreciate the fact that you have started this new blog. As a separate intity, we at World sometimes feel less than a part of the “mother” company. This new vehicle will solve many of those issues.

  • Bob Sennett

    Mike wrote: “Maybe we should set up an employee discussion group. That would be interesting!”

    Interesting, but maybe a little too public in certain cases. We would need a way to safeguard our proprietary, competitive, and/or confidentiality concerns. Maybe a password-protected area for internal discussions?

  • Wayne Sharpe

    This will be good. Hopefully will grow as the need for interdeptmental communication is always needed and appreciated. And in that will the different dept’s have their own blog verses individual employees? Also many employees are not that technically savy, myself included. Some by choice some by lack of availability of said technology. So can info of this be posted on the Nelson News to get those that may not be quite so interested to start, maybe more interested in the future?

  • Gary Davidson

    This is an excellant method to communicate on a regular basis. Thank you for taking the time to develop this site.

    Gary

  • Jimmy Bloss

    Thanks Mike for opening up a new door to communicate corporately. I also want to say thanks for the opportunity we have been given at World Publishing. I am very grateful to be working with some of the sharpest people in the industry, and together I believe we will make a tremendous difference for the sake of His Kingdom.

  • Kathleen Crow

    I love this blog and your many ideas for improving communication, Mike.

    I also like the thought of employee discussion groups. Will this allow for information to remain internal? I think a chat room for all the admin. assistants to share ideas and help each other be more productive would be good.

  • Jeremy Johnson

    Mike:
    I too want to thank you for your vision in moving our company towards more effective communication. I have been a fan of Working Smart for a long time and am excited about the possibilities the view from where you sit will bring the company.

  • Christian Selvaratnam

    Mike, I love your blog(s) and they may just well become the inspiration for me to start my own!

  • http://labourlawblog.typepad.com/managementupdates/2005/04/weekend_reading.html Thoughts from a Management Lawyer

    Weekend Reading

    This blog is, of course, about labour and employment law and, as reluctant as I am to say this, there is more to this world than labour and employment law (gasp!).

  • Mary

    This is a fascinating look inside a corporation.

    I don’t know if you see comments posted on your archives, but I’d like to offer a suggestion.

    Consider adding a separate contact link for reporting typos (there is a typo in the second sentence under the welcome mat) so that the grammar police types can help to edit entries without slapping down their fearless leader in a public venue!

  • http://www.interpretthespirit.com Adrian Aizpiri

    Hello Bob,

    Sorry for the delay in responding. I haven’t visited this blog in a long time. In the past I’ve worked as a contractor for Grupo Nelson and learned about Mike’s Blog through his emails.

    I wish you and Mike a blessed New Year!

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  • http://www.stormyfrog.com/ Andrew Buckman

    There’s a photo missing in this ancient post!

  • http://www.forward-living.com W. Mark Thompson

    Whoa! 2005
    Got your reply from my question about your first post.
    You’ve been at this a while.
    I’m really interested in how you’ve developed the stability of your platform, security, and the mechanical part of the process if you haven’t already written about it.
    If you have, I haven’t found it yet.
    You’ve definitely got a vault of valuable content here. As other bloggers you inspire grow with you, I bet they’d be interested in your growth process. I know I would be.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Ah, that’s the subject of my next book. ;-)

      I actually started blogging in 1998—before it was called blogging. The link I gave you was just the first post on THIS blog.

      • http://www.forward-living.com W. Mark Thompson

        In that case, I am eagerly waiting for your next book. Can’t wait! 

  • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

    Since I have recently started my own blog I wanted to take time to look at the beginning of the blogging process of people I follow. I wanted to see where they came from, how the blog has changed, and to see if ideas have changed. I liked the part in this blog about not being able to predict how often you will post and now you are pretty set in blogging just about everyday. It is encouraging to know that I don’t have to have everything all figured out at the beginning!  

  • http://twitter.com/tinagist Tina Gist

    Michael I love your blog and think you should include your first one (this one) on your ABOUT ME page.  I am using your blog as a class assignment and it took me a while to locate it. Thanks for helping me be a better berson with more passion, focus and influence! This is an amazing blog!

  • http://twitter.com/tinagist Tina Gist

    Michael I love your blog and think you should include your first one (this one) on your ABOUT ME page. I am using your blog as a class assignment and it took me a while to locate it. Thanks for helping me be a better berson with more passion, focus and influence! This is an amazing blog!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Tina. I will consider that.

  • Rev Murray

    Good advice. I am a pastor who wants to write books and thought I would start with a blog.
    @revmurray

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