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At AOL I learned a management dictum: "Over-communicate". The idea was that lack of communication caused all manner of ills, and if you didn't take it for granted that everyone knew what was was going on, that everyone knew what you knew, then you would tell them, and thus avoid problems that would otherwise occur. Pick up the phone, send an email, and avoid a project trainwreck.

I've been thinking about how blogging is such a scalable communication tool. The dynamics of the blog mean that you don't necessarily have to meet with everyone to establish the common frame-of-reference that's so handy for effective communication.

I'm sure all of Fred's portfolio CEOs read his blog so they know what's on his mind. They don't have to have a lunch or a call with him to cover that background stuff. And when they do meet in person, the meeting will be more productive, since they'll have had time to think about what he's been writing about.

Jason's another blogger I can't stop myself from reading. I first directly encountered Jason several years ago when he flamed me in the comments on Battelle's blog, claiming Topix had blacklisted Weblogsinc from our crawl. I thought we were headed for our first PR disaster. Who was this guy? Who is Weblogsinc? Why did we blacklist them?

Jason and I chatted on the phone and it was all straightened out. And I started reading his blog.

When I see Jason post stuff like this I have to stop for a second. It seems new, this idea that you broadcast everything in your head and there is a net win. It seems to work for him. How generalizable is that, though? When does it work, when doesn't it work? Hmmm.

Today is the one-month anniversary of my blog. I'm still trying to get my style and rhythm and voice down. So far it's been pretty rewarding. I'm sure you'll let me know how I'm doing. :-)


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Over-Communicate:

» Grouchy Rich from Skrentablog
Over the past couple of months I did press tours in NY and SF, with 25+ interviews, four panels, a high order bit at Web 2.0, had our launch party for about 200 people, and dealt with some stuff... [Read More]

Comments (5)


Really interesting blog, keep it up! My curiosity is always piqued when I see a new post in Reader.

"How generalizable is that, though? When does it work, when doesn't it work?"

I think having having a regular readership of a certain size (critical mass) is necessary. But, once you have that--the emergent capabilities of that audience are astounding.


"I'm sure you'll let me know how I'm doing"

Doing good!

I find voice is about un-learning the formal :)

Rich, great post. If you tell someone that works for you Why you want something done and What it is for, then they can provide a creative solution to a problem without your input every step of the way. Of course overcommunication is not without its faults, but I think the biggest mistake managers make is thinking they have to know and do everything themselves.

It's hard to believe you've only been at this for a month- the quality is very high and got you bookmarked for my daily reading list based on the Google posting alone.

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