We are all struggling with information overload - drowning in email traffic, and busy mastering the art of skimming rather than reading, but the fact is we live in the digital age and increased access to information is a good thing – we just need to get savvy about how we use it in ways that help us achieve the changes we want to see. As a great ODI blog noted ‘we need to aim higher than just creating knowledge for the sake of it – we have to get the right piece of information into the right hands, at the right time and in the right format, to give ourselves the greatest chance at seeing the change we seek take place’.
So what can increased blogging about our work do for us?
- It’s quick to do and doesn’t cost much. Just think, a little time crafting a blog could mean spending less time emailing out reports to contacts databases you have to put together every time. And less time (and trees) posting hard copies of reports to country offices and government officials, who will probably use them to prop up their computer screen.
- It will give our substantive research much more impact by forcing us to get better at communicating bottom-line results and recommendations in clear language. A blog requires us to put the most important information in the first sentence – not leave the reader to find it hidden on page 48 of a 60 page report.
- Blogs can help us improve our research and thinking on our key areas of expertise. David Roodman, the microfinance guru at the Centre for Global Development drafted his new book by posting draft chapters on his blog and inviting comments as he went.
- It won’t dumb us down, it will enable us to do ‘deep dives’! Allowing us to really get into the detail and the nuances that mainstream media doesn’t allow. There will be no word count for the blogs. The old adage still applies– if it’s well written and interesting, people will read it.
- It will help us better understand what we are all doing and hopefully allow for more cross fertilization between teams and across CARE.
But Insights isn’t just an indulgent exercise in improving our internal communications, the ultimate (and some might say wildly ambitious) goals for this site are three fold:
- To position ourselves as credible leaders in our areas of expertise (Private sector engagement with development, conflict, governance and food security)
- To build relationships with key opinion formers and policy makers (and to attract their communities to Insights).
- To influence the policies and practices of government and business.
We might not attract 7000 new readers overnight, or convince the UN General Assembly to adopt a new ambitious post 2015 framework straight away, but we can at least ensure we have more than a sad looking pdf with no summary up on our website, as is currently the case!
Thanks for helping us get this far with the project and here’s hoping that you continue to bring plenty of insightful information on to the site, so we can really push it out further to the big wide world.