Social software expert Suw Charman recently gave a talk at Google on the use of blogs and wikis in corporate world.
Suw analyzed reasons that stop the employees from adopting blogs and wikis as a way of getting things done and what can be done to improve the adoption rate of these "social software tools" in organizations.
The biggest problem is about changing habits of employees as they are too happy and content with the old-school way of doing things (aka email). Stephanie has a good summary of Suw's talk at Google. Why are employees not writing blogs and wikis:
Low-level fear of social humiliation. How are they going to come across to their peers and bosses? Fear of making mistake. People don’t realize they’re afraid, they just feel a bit uncomfortable talking /publicly/ to their colleagues. E-mail is different because it feels private, it’s 1-1 communication. You’re not exposing yourself as much. People become "shy" when you give them a very public place to work.
Also, some people aren’t comfortable in writing. Some are better talkers than writers, and are not comfortable writing in a semi-formal environment. E-mail is more informal. Blogs and wikis are perceived as requiring a higher level of writing skill. Again, people don’t admit to this.
Suw's suggestion is to get the managers to use blogs and wikis in order to increase adoption rate among employees. "Use the tools regularly if possible. Easy to slip back into the old ways, but go back to using the tools."