When starting intranet-based online discussions in an organisation, whether they are forums, blogs, comments on articles, or internal Twitter-style tools, how should you go about moderating them and maintaining their effectiveness? Where do you begin with writing policies and guidelines on use? Should you even monitor the discussions at all?
These questions come up frequently for intranet and internal communication teams. This article will outline:
- some best practice examples of policies and guidelines
- several different models and approaches for moderating online discussion
- the need for a clear post-launch strategy to encourage discussion
Fundamental to success
One point to recognise is that good governance and moderation is vital to the success of these platforms. But there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, either.
Many organisations share similar concerns about online employee discussion. But the differences between organisations — in size, culture, history and employee experience — are important factors in whether and how moderation is implemented.
The first step with any online discussion platform should be to establish some guidelines about what will and will not be acceptable. For example, any abusive language and explicit content are obvious exclusions, but just how far will you let something such as criticism go? Allowing people to complain endlessly about not having a vending machine on their floor is asking for trouble, but allowing genuine problems to surface could well be a primary aim. Such questions need to be addressed at an early stage of planning.
[April KM Column by Alex Manchester, read the full article]