Friday, 11 April 2014

Business Continuity Flash Blog

On Tuesday 18th March 2014, as part of the Business Continuity Awareness Week activities, we witnessed the first ever BC Flash Blog. This is probably a new term to most readers, it is a virtual Flash Mob – but instead of a dance routine the participants wrote and published their own blog post or article.

The event featured 22 writers, from all sectors of the BC industry – and from various corners of the globe. All the articles were on the same subject, and published at the same time. In keeping with the BCAW theme, the subject was “Counting the costs, and benefits, for business continuity”, with each writer taking their own, unique, perspective on this issue.

If you haven’t already done so, you can find links to all 22 of these blogs here. If we do nothing else, we can at least pay these writers the respect of reading their work.

For those who are interested in statistics, the page with the list of articles has had over 600 views (as of the 7th April). The list is hosted on a service called List.ly that facilitates social media style interactions with the community. Readers are able to flag like/dislike; indicate which articles they have read and, perhaps just as importantly, which subjects they would like to learn more about.

To date there have been 123 of these interactions recorded – but sadly these have come from only 11 people. You do have to register with the service to interact, which may have stopped many from casting a vote. These interactions are still open, and it would provide useful feedback to guide future articles if you could visit the site and record your thoughts.

Despite the relatively low number of interactions recorded, the feedback from a number of the writers indicates a good level of hits on these articles. While not everybody had full scale analytics, reported around 100 hits on their article and another over 180 hits. This may, in part, represent the existing audience of some of these writers as much as the BCAW promotion - but that is part of the educational value to be derived from the exercise.

BC folk need to learn about tapping into, and leveraging, existing networks and communities if we want to promote our cause and our message. The extra reader base accessed by distributed, rather than centralised, blog hosting. Just as importantly, the extended reach of the Social Media networks of the various writers and the 'priceless' publicity that was generated by the Tweets and Retweets. These are lessons we can look at applying to our own BC programmes. How we can use tools like blogs and wikis in our organizations; improving our understanding (and adoption) of the various social media tools (like List.ly) and the value of debate and interaction, rather than passive consumption, in promoting a vibrant discipline.

One message that comes through very clearly in several of these articles is the passion that BC people have for the work we do. It was a joy to see that passion from old practitioners as well as from newer ones. The passion for the work and promoting the cause also spanned geography and language.

That passion means we can at times be forceful when we debate our different views and perspectives on how to count the costs – and even what constitutes benefits and value from BC. But it also drives a genuine desire to promote improvement and learning across our practices. Without debate, and passion, no field of knowledge will develop. But debate requires engagement.

I spoke about this passion, and used three of the articles as examples, in my BCAW webinar. It is recorded and can be accessed here, it also contains some instruction on how to access and engage with the List of articles.

It would be great to hear some feedback about the concept of a Flash Blog, about the articles, or even what topic you would like to see for a future Flash Blog event. You can comment here on The BC Eye, or start a discussion in one of the many Linked In groups where this post will be promoted.

My thanks to all those who contributed articles, I hope you all keep writing! Thank you also to those who take the time to read – and extra special thanks to those who make it all worthwhile by engaging and debating these ideas.

Finally, if you are wondering why we chose to have our Flash Mob write a blog post rather than demonstrate a dance routine – then this YouTube clip (featuring one of our contributors) should provide an adequate explanation.

Ken Simpson
Director of The VR Group

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