electronic forum for work

  Ivor_Monkey 00:31 11 Dec 03
Locked

Does anyone know of an organisation that uses an e-forum (or discussion board) for work-related purposes such as sharing best practice etc. I'm thinking of an e-forum perhaps using a similar discussion board structure as this site

I'm especially interested in hearing about an organisation that employs about 300 staff, preferably in the public sector, but any examples of organisations using e-forums would be great.

Thanks.

  Sir Radfordin 09:27 11 Dec 03

Jiscmail is one example click here of something that I think you are suggesting - it is for UK Higher and Further Education communities.

  Ivor_Monkey 15:09 11 Dec 03

Thanks, it looks more like a mailing list facility so not quite what I had in mind.

So, is it the case that no one uses discussion boards at work, except for fun things like pcadvisor?

  Hoseman 15:23 11 Dec 03

Would these forums be used mainly by the employees of the company/organisation?

What is it youre looking to do or find out about?

  Sir Radfordin 15:46 11 Dec 03

I imagine that most companies would see it as a nice way to 'waste' time. There are endless forums out there but few of any quality. Do you belong to a professional body of any kind? See if they offer something.

  Ivor_Monkey 21:58 11 Dec 03

Waste time? Quite the opposite.

I'm thinking of a forum for an organisation where staff share knowledge about doing thier work to the best standards. So questions and responses would relate to the purpose of their work. It is especially useful in organisations where you have a lot of separate teams doing similar things. Of course you can rely on personal networks to share good practice, but clearly this doesn't always work. So I looking into whether firms have estabslished a discussion board on their own systems.

If a discussion board works for sharing knowledge about computers (as here), why can't it work for sharing knowledge about anything?

  Tim1964 22:36 11 Dec 03

We at EDF Energy, click here have the very thing you mention. Our company is made up of what was Eastern Electricity, London Electricity and SEEBOARD with 11,000 employees from as far-a-field as Sunderland, Brighton, the Midlands and East Anglia. Our corporate INTRANET (not internet) has a feedback forum for work related issues. Although each area of the company is more like a self contained business(not what they would like to see it!) so sharing 'best practise' is mainly done through working parties and via various training methods.

  Forum Editor 23:15 11 Dec 03

an online forum for a National industry information organisation. I used the discussion group facility in Microsoft FrontPage to do it, although I heavily customised the appearance and 'feel' of the standard Microsoft offering.

I can't give details, or a link to the site for client confidentiality reasons, but I can say that the forum was a place where senior executives of major companies in one of our biggest industries can exchange ideas and opinions on how to make the industry more efficient. My brief was to make the discussion area secure because the subject matter tends to be highly confidential, so I set up a workgroup on the organisation's Windows web server. Users get the NT authentication challenge when they try to enter the forum, and have to submit a username/password combination. This method is very secure, although it means manually setting up each user on the server. There aren't that many auhtorised users (about 200) and I get the server administrator to do it, as and when we need to add or remove someone

It all seems to work very well - at least the client appears to be pleased with it.

  Ivor_Monkey 12:45 12 Dec 03

Tinm1964 and FE
Thanks for your assistance. I have the software side reasonably sorted (Gossamer-I think), which is already set up and running on the organisation's intranet as a model. I also have a great deal of material on the benefits of such a forum. I have been asked by management to find out how other organisations use such forums, specifically:

1) in practice are such forums thought useful? Tim1964 do you have any examples of what is on your feedback forums that you could share with me? And has your firm not tried running working parties via their forum? Afterall it has the advantage of allowing all people to contribute and interact with contributions and not just the members on the working party.

2) how much time does moderating such staff-led forums take? Can anyone give any estimates of the likely time spent moderating a forum with potentially 300 people? FE, perhaps you have some rough estimates based on moderating pcadvisor.co.uk?

3)how do organisations ensure that the e-forums don't just become a grumble zone for disgruntled staff (I did say these were management questions!)?

4)how does managment handle their legal responsibility for the content on forums, even when hosted on their intranet? I should add, that like EDF's they would be restricted to staff.

5) I understand that BT also uses a staff forum. Anyone got any inof on this?

Sorry it is a long post. Thanks for your help.

  Ivor_Monkey 12:49 12 Dec 03

Part 2
FE, your comments about the high security standards of the system that you help set up is also very interesting. Thanks again.

  Ivor_Monkey 09:50 13 Dec 03

anyone?

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