I’ve been asked to look into some solutions for setting up a blog for internal communications within my firm. We need something that would be visible to staff only, and that is preferably cheap/free and fairly simple to set up. We’d like it to be visible through our intranet – we wouldn’t be able to integrate it fully, as our intranet is incredibly basic, clunky and has minimal tech support, but we can embed live web pages within the intranet. At the moment, the front page of our intranet is updated by Marketing. They add details of recent press coverage, upcoming events, new clients, cases we’ve won, and any big firmwide announcements. These front page stories usually change about once a week – sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on what’s going on. We’d like to use the blog initially as an easier way of publishing these stories, and storing old ones. this would possibly be an interim solution – we are looking at implementing Sharepoint within the next 18 months, so at that point would probably use Sharepoint’s blogging tools.
The solutions I’ve thought of (and had suggested to me) so far have been:
Hosted WordPress.com blog, set to private
- Easy and quick to set up
- Would need users to log in individually (I think!)
- Hosted externally – not very secure if we’re putting potentially sensitive information on the blog
- Would need to pay extra to have more than 35 users
Self-hosted WordPress.org blog
- More secure to have it on our own server
- Bit more flexible
- More technical knowledge required to set it up, more time consuming
- Not entirely sure if we can restrict access to certain users – WordPress Codex seems to imply you can, but it’s fiddly. Anyone tried doing this?
Yammer (or similar service)
- Private, secure
- Easy to set up
- Free version (though not sure if we’d end up paying for the premium version)
- Not exactly what we were looking for – microblogging, rather than blogging.
- Relies on good uptake within the firm – would take a lot of effort to get everyone using it.
So, those are my ideas so far. Any other suggestions? Anything I’ve missed or misunderstood? I’d be very grateful for any advice anyone has, no matter how basic! I’ve had my personal blog for a bit over a year, but I’ve got no real experience of using blogs as private, internal communications tools. Has anyone set up anything like this before?