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Corporate blogs slowly taking hold in Australia

Blogs and wikis takeoff as a business tool

Online collaboration tools such as blogs and wikis are having an increased impact in the Australian corporate workplace, with contributions to workplace Web sites taking off at a much higher rate than local blog creation, a new survey shows.

According to the McNair Ingenuity study of Australians aged over 18 and living in capital cities, a demographic subset closely matching the corporate workforce, 17 per cent have contributed information to a work-based Web site or blog.

Contribution levels varied markedly with age. While 28 percent of 18-29 year olds had added to a work site, those levels dropped below 20 percent for every other age bracket. Senior workers were particularly resistant, with just five percent participating.

Creation of individual blogs outside the workplace is rather less common, with just four percent of those surveyed having done so. Australians are rather more willing to contribute to other sites, with 28 percent of participants having uploaded some form of content to the Internet.

McNair Ingenuity managing director Matt Balogh said that the overall figures for blog usage would likely have been much higher if under-18s had been included. "It's very obvious that the teenage market would have a huge impact," he said. The study is ongoing and will include data from regional areas as well, Balogh added.

While the online collaboration space is largely dominated by free open source offerings, enterprise vendors are increasingly seeking to integrate with those tools. Microsoft's Word 2007, due for release later this year, includes a feature to allow automatic posting of documents written in the word processor to a blog.