Blogging at work and the corporate attention economy

Mosaic at HP Labs

Sarita Yardi1, Scott A. Golder2, and Michael J. Brzozowski3

1 School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology
2 Department of Sociology, Cornell University
3 Social Computing Lab, HP Labs


The attention economy motivates participation in peer-produced sites on the Web like YouTube and Wikipedia. However, this economy appears to break down at work. We studied a large internal corporate blogging community using log files and interviews and found that employees expected to receive attention when they contributed to blogs, but these expectations often went unmet. Like in the external blogosphere, a few people received most of the attention, and many people received little or none. Employees expressed frustration if they invested time and received little or no perceived return on investment. While many corporations are looking to adopt Web-based communication tools like blogs, wikis, and forums, these efforts will fail unless employees are motivated to participate and contribute content. We identify where the attention economy breaks down in a corporate blog community and suggest mechanisms for improvement.


To appear at CHI 2009, April 4-9, 2009.

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Cite as

Yardi, S., Golder, S.A., and Brzozowski, M.J. 2009. Blogging at work and the corporate attention economy. In Proc. of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing. April 4-9, 2009, Boston, MA, USA. ACM Press.