Dell Blogging: Idea Storm to Employee Storm

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Dell targeted around 80,000 employees working with them. Their aims seemed to be the changing of the culture of work inside the company regarding ‘email’ and deal with the tools in social media which are generally popular. They aimed at reduction of the constant email traffic and make the discussions among employees transparent.

The two parts to the plan included:

1) Blogs: The internal blog zones were created which were based on initial blogs situated externally of Dell. This idea has become so popular that it has become the main source of interaction internally. After the main body of the blog was created it was followed by various sub-blogs in individual regions and different departments.

This ideation by Dell has remained a major way of giving individual attention as the internal blogs would be more relevant to the employees. At the same time the globalization of the ideas can continue through common interaction on the web but the points belong to the idea that anyone from the company can participate in it.

2) Employee Storm: It has been a model after the successful Idea Storm by Dell. Employee Storm is an innovative forum where the employees can communicate their suggestions and discuss and vote on major topics via social sites such as Digg.

In September 2006 the new ideas were put into action and in July 2007 its popularity rocketed with five blogs in some regions and business useful displays appearing in 7 languages. Now there are 8 blogs in main blocks and each one has its own monitor and calendar for editorials.

The Idea Storm was followed by Employee Storm which was created in June 2007 with a gap of 4 months.

The whole work was divided between writing original articles and then answering questions and responses to them. The authors were hard to convince about the huge task given to them because answering was more important than posting articles.

Each of the eight control centers was responsible for doing various important tasks. These included calendar publishing, and the original index creating with editing it and publishing the comments and general moderating duties. Plus the promotion of other blogger teams was important. All the moderators were trained to perform all the required tasks irrespective of the team they belonged to. They could perform each other’s tasks and cover for each other.

The popularity of such ideas is immediately visible. In one month such blogs in Dell post 35 posts on average and visitors contribute about 6,000 originals. This blog circle is only 7% of the total population of Dell employees and the average business related posts were 20,000 different visitors and the highest were around 54,000 different users.  Also the (CI) which is the conversion index i.e. the comments posted by each user has risen steeply each passing month. Perhaps the best thing about this is that it acts as a check box throughout the company for various plants in their communication. Therefore more and more staff is being educated about the effective use of the blog to serve as a replacement for the traditional means of communication.

Statistical success can be measured by the fact that Employee Storm has received over 4,100 ideas with 225,000 votes and 18,500 comments. Such achievements have surpassed the initial purpose of the project and have resulted in fast evolution of the work culture. Employees now like the sharing of ideas through blogs and find information easily through transparent means.


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