As I read this article I was thinking about how it applied within an enterprise context - specifically, how the last few years of "Enterprise 2.0"-related solutions has created more visible and transparent publics. By "publics" I mean spaces that are broadly open to participation and contribution by people who may not know each other but have some common understanding and shared identity (refer to danah boyd, and her writings on "networked publics"). In this case, employee's have a common understanding and shared identity at some level - and with E2.0-type environments, we are enabling interaction on a more broad scale - thus, the concept of an "Enterprise Public". The rise of "publics" within the enterprise - and since there is not "one public" but many (giving rise to "networked enterprise publics" (again, crediting the thinking of danah boyd here) - is an intriguing phenomenon and often is the source of friction with traditional organizational structures and policies that prefer to limit participation and contributions to a more narrow group of people (based on process, role, security needs, etc).
Maybe I'll post more on the concept of enterprise publics later - but the other question the article raised in mind was the issue of media and information literacties (in this case, writing - but more broadly, a range of competencies and cultural etiquette's we need to think about more strategically.
Within the enterprise, people are generally comfortable attaching documents to email and circulating them to larger audiences or saving documents into shared libraries, and even (to a lesser degree) posting questions in discussion forums. However, the idea of pubic posting, without any sense of audience, can become a barrier to the type of social interaction associated with Enterprise 2.0. As I read the article, what came to mind was not so much the point about writing (although I agree with the points since I love to write) - but the issue of media literacies. In my experience, organizations rarely focus on how our interaction models are evolving in conjunction with how media is transforming the ways we communicate, share, connect, and collaborate. How many organizations treat media and information literacies as a strategic workforce capability they need to develop? I imagine the answer is: very few.
What Vygotsky and Wolf observed about writing, we can extend and expand to writing in public. Writing for an audience is a special and important sub-case: it’s writing with feedback and consequences. Doing it yourself changes how you think about it and how you evaluate others’ efforts. The now-unfashionable word “empowerment” describes a part of that change: writing is a way of discovering one’s voice and feeling its strength. But writing in public involves discovering the boundaries and limits of that power, too. We learn all the different ways in which we are not the center of the universe. That kind of discovery has a way of helping us grow up fast.
So when I hear the still-commonplace dismissal of blogging as a trivial pastime or an amateurish hobby, I think, hold on a second. Writing — making texts — changes how we read and think. Every blogger (at least every blogger that wasn’t already a writer) is someone who has learned to read the world differently.
From Twitter @Roundtrip (Greg Lloyd)