There are still a lot of people out there who don't know what a blog is. And even if they know what a blog is, they don't know how it can be of use to them within their organization.
What is a blog? A blog is a website consisting of a collection of posts, written in a journal style, and is viewed in reverse chronological order. One of the powerful aspects of the blog is the ability to share it with an enormous audience base over the internet.
Possible uses for your Organization's Blog:
To Give a Voice to People in Your Organization: Having your employees post blogs creates a more democratic culture, disseminates information, allows people to get creatively engaged in driving your mission, spurs on innovation, spreads news throughout....
Bottom-Up Shift in Power: This can mean feedback from your customers/audience. You're working for them, why not find out what they REALLY need/want? A Bottom-up shift can also mean feedback from your employees. Again, speaking to a democratic structure, it allows your employees to actively engage in driving your mission and can play a role in improving low morale, giving ownership to all in the group, and addressing issues right as they come up as opposed to when they blow up.
Fundraising: Blogging about your fundraising needs could get a lot more people intrested in the passion that you are trying to promote and, consequently, YOUR needs in addressing that issue. Due to a certain personal nature of blogs, your issues may have a greater resonance with the readers, thus expanding your network, your cause, and perhaps your funds to advance your mission.
Advocacy: Since you have the possibility of a greater audience through the internet, just imagine how many more people can learn about your cause. Seriously, try to imagine it. Yeah.
You don't even have to take my word for it. Here are some other people advocating for the use of blogs within (all types) of organizations: Zafar S. Shah in the Nonprofit Quarterly, some of the big guys are doing it, Britt Bravo from NetSquared gives a few reasons for nonprofits, a BusinessWeek article, and this blog post from the blog Creating Passionate Users just caught my eye, take it or leave it.
The thing about blogs is that they can be a bit intimidating. They were intimidating to me. But have no fear. I am seriously technologically challenged, but I've managed to set up a blog and I've waded through a little bit of information on what it takes (or doesn't take) to integrate technolgoy into your life. Even when you have no idea how technology works.
So here's a Non-Techie Resource on starting a blog: Some blogs require you to know HTML code. Some also require you to obtain a server.
I don't know HTML code, so I'm sticking to the ones that don't require me to use it. As for the server, I'm thinking about getting one for some future projects that I will delve into, but you don't need to set up server capabilities for a blog.
Also, remember, some blogs are fee-based, some are free. If you're using your blog for within an organization, you may want to use a service that IS fee-based as they tend to have a few more options as to design, number of authors, and may look a little more professional.
A free, no-need-to-know-HTML blog service is Blogger
A free + fee-based options blog service is TypePad from the folks over at Six Apart. For techies they also have MovableType. Another option for those who have tech-knowledge is WordPress, which is free, but is more complicated (for me).
I chose TypePad. I currently use the Plus Level. I do not know (yet) how to create my own templates, but they have enough to satisfy my needs for now. If you use this platform, be sure to check out the widgets section. Widgets are elements (things) that users interact with on your webpage. Over in the Left Hand column there, you will see a variety of widgets that I am playing with such as the blog search, and the Swicki tags. Widgets allow for more interactivity and usability in your blog. Your readers can search your blog for a term without having to page through each entry, for example. Or they can find other blogs that cover the same issues. Or they can listen to the music you are promoting. Or, you could find a widget that allows people to donate to your cause. I HIGHLY recommend that you use them.
Also, with a blog, think about keeping it simple. Again, we're not master techies, so make it easy to read. One good way to do this is to utilize categories. These act as a table of contents so that others can quickly find information that they need to find.
TypePad will guide you through using their service to create a simple blog. And that's all you need in the beginning. Seriously. I think it's easy to get caught up in all the technology that even just a blog can offer. And I think it's great, but for those of us who are not techies, I do not think we need to suddenly become one. You need to focus on your mission of saving the world; and my point is that you don't need to be a techie in order to do that. Know what your options are, but don't get bogged down in the massive details--let an expert deal with that. But, now, you've got a tool that can really get you going--doing the work that you love and want to tell the world about.