Oscar Berg over at The Content Economy writes about Transforming from a “need to know culture” to a “need to share culture".
The State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency are both moving to become more open and collaborative using enterprise 2.0 tools to gather information and communicate.
Is your firm more secretive than the State Department or the CIA? Why?
As The Firm is adopting enterprise 2.0 tools like wikis and blogs, I will get a request for a private wiki or a private blog. My first reaction is to ask them "Why?" The information they are putting up will be useful for the firm. People are already overloaded with the flow of information. They are not going to spend time reading your blog or wiki unless it is relevant to what they are doing day-to-day. They may find information in it occasionally in a search for information they need to know. Those two situations are exactly the reasons that you want to collect information and communicate using open platform tools like wikis and blogs.
Of course there are areas that do need to be walled off in law firms. Human resources has lots of limitations on what they can make publicly available. Client work needs to walled off to implement ethical walls.
If you are willing to send an internal email to more than one other person, maybe that information should have been put in a blog or wiki instead. You can always send a link to the information in the email, instead of trapping that information in an email.