Robert Whiting In search of awesome

Leveraging the Internal Blog


One of the greatest communication resources we have inside any organization is the internal blog, and we’re not fully utilizing it. I’m not fully utilizing it.

The internal blog is to share ideas, progress, insights, failures, lessons, and successes. Sure, you could comb through other team’s retro pages or put helpful emails in a special folder for reference, but very few people are willing to go through the effort.

Why waste my time?

Reflecting and summarizing helps internalize ideas. If you just figured something out, learned a great lesson, or failed miserably, reflecting on the experience will help you internalize the experience. Slow down and figure out how to do more of the good and less of the bad. A whole chunk of Agile Development is based on reflection and course correction. Because it works.

Help others avoid pitfalls you’ve experienced. It’s natural to want to minimize mistakes and try to look good, but you’re in a team now. If you don’t share pitfalls, your team will fall into the same ruts, patterns, and dead ends that you’ve experienced. You help your team (and the company) when you share the bad things that happened and what you want to do differently. You team will thank you for it.

Open lines of communication for further growth opportunities. If you’re closed off, you will receive far less help and fewer ideas from the outside. By sharing what you know and engaging in the discussions that follow (comments, followup posts, etc), you’ll become part of a community of open communication and growth. Keep it up, and you might even be sought out for design review, feature ideas, corporate direction, and awesome new challenges.

What if no one is listening?

Until the internal blog is consistently the place to go for information and connection, it’s our job to spread the blogs.

Encourage everyone on your team to subscribe to internal blogs–to yours, to your division, to the department’s, to communities of interest in the company.

What do I blog?

  • Project updates
  • Interesting retro items
  • Your take on a tech blog article (or even a TLDR and link)
  • Meeting notes
  • Book you’ve read
  • A fun thing you found
  • Tech you want to share
  • Fun with your team

Keep it relatively concise. Devs have 12 primary driving forces:

  1. The need for automation/efficiency
  2. Laziness