Why Johnny Can’t Klog. [1].

Why Johnny Can’t Klog..

Why don’t people write?


Fear of failure.

Fear of criticism.

Fear of reprisal.

Fear of looking stupid.

Fear of removing all doubt.

Fear of permanence.

Fear of strangers.

Fear of invaded privacy.

Fear of falling behind.

Fear of the blank page.




I’m thinking a lot about folks who haven’t written a paragraph since high school. Folks who never got more than a C in English. Paralyzed by a blank sheet of paper. By permanence.

Ask the blogger population their average and highest grades in English. Then ask the general working population.

Ask bloggers how many books they read last year. Compare to the rest of the public.

Ask bloggers how many words in the longest text they wrote in school, at work, or for fun. Then ask the general public.

You get my point.

The previous thread: Tekrite to Alison Fish of Blogfish to S?bastien Paquet to Al Macintyre

Pete Harbeson shared some lessons from deploying an enterprise klogging tool. One of them:

Most people don’t like to write. We’ve had a difficult time designing interfaces that encourage adding information instead of just reading.

Ron Lusk said:

Some folks may not like to write because:

    • It is a public display of facility they may not feel they have, and may not have; one correspondent was afraid his spelling was bad.
    • It makes folly as clear as wisdom, but is more persistent than a comment made in the hall
    • It takes time and thought (and a little hubris?per Larry Wall) to put words out for others, and to make them?and think them?good enough for public consumption.
    • I’m sure more ideas will come to me, later…enough folly for now.

Seb’s Open Research:

Lessons learned from a large scale K-logging implementation.

      • Most people don’t like to write. We’ve had a difficult time designing interfaces that encourage adding information instead of just reading.

      • There’s no substitute for good, accessible writing. We have several people who write consistently for the system. The logs show that postings from one writer get far more attention and prompt far more linking than those from the other writers.

Alison Fish of Blogfish:

I suspect that beginning bloggers and kloggers are often inhibited..

If we set up a k-logging community for our company intranet, I suspect there will be an initial _hump_ of hesitation among the employees. Maybe having a few designated posters at the beginning would ease the transition. Must think on this.

Al Macintyre‘s prescription:

  • Recruit co-workers who you think share your enthusiasm for the idea of having a KLOG on the company intranet, and would be good power users to serve as a kind of help desk and cheerleader squad when you launch it. [see: Klogging Roles and the klogspace editor]
  • With them, setup a system patterned on dws.Radio.FAQ model to discuss what needs resolution before implementing this, and inviting in the mass of users, so as to maximize odds of getting great value out of his project.

    • Do so outside company intranet until you nailed down everything needed for implementation.
    • That includes both technical know how and management approval.
    • When management says Yes, they often expect results soon.
    • So you use this outside discussion area to identify pre-requisites and get them resolved.

  • Assuming you are the moderator

    • Your team use a Category name like Radio Plot Twists which performs role like Radio Questions input to dws
    • Your aggregation, like dws.Radio.FAQ, have name like The Plot Thickens
    • Ask your co-workers if y”all want to invite into your discussion any non-employees from outside the firm

      • Think Radio enthusiasts who have written relevant documentation
      • Think other firms personnel trying to organize an company KLOG in which those people are not in competition with your company

  • Just as dws has Topic headings like

    • Radio Wishes
    • Radio Tips
    • Radio Questions
    • Radio Alerts

  • Your multi-author discussion would have its relevant Topic headings like

    • Documentation and Tutorial Flow Chart of Learning Curve

      • Topics that co-workers need to learn to be proficient in this.
      • Will you want to host a seminar class to help people get up to speed
      • Will you want to mirror some Radio documentation on your intranet

    • Examples of KLOGS worth emulating

      • Initially you just want anything that illustrates the concept
      • Then you want some that are close to what you want for your company

    • Implementation Challenges to Solve

      • What OS does Radio Frontier etc. work on
      • What OS are most heavily in use at your company
      • People working from home PC and from work PC updating from either location

    • Management Personnel Topics

      • Distinct from documentation for users and Implementation issues
      • This will eat some disk space and other resources
      • There will be executives slow to accept some communication methods

        • Everyone still needs to communicate with them by their preferred methods
        • Paper, Fax, e-mail, whatever
[a klog apart]