In my view, the difference between a chat group in a messenger and a microblog on the intranet lies in the difference in range and persistence. Posting something on a microblog is a little bit more complicated than simply typing a chat message into a mobile app. This makes the chat message very fleeting. After just ten comments, the only ones who know what the chat is going on about are those who were involved in it right from the start. The longer the discussion takes and the more posts there are, the less likely it is for the other participants in the group to read the chat from the beginning and join in the discussion later.

A micropost, on the other hand, has a longer shelf life and can also be found later. For example, it has a unique (and persistent) internet address, which can be used to refer back to it at any time. Chat messages, on the other hand, usually don’t have direct links that you can copy, send, and open in your browser. 

Microposts with all of their discussion points are discussed on the intranet for days or even weeks when it comes to particularly hot topics. They remain at the “forefront of your mind” for much longer in an organization. Chat discussions, on the other hand, usually last just a few minutes or a few hours – depending on how busy a group is. The previous topic is usually forgotten as soon as one or two new topics, and therefore some new discussion threads are started. 

Most chat groups, in addition (in contrast to the microblog), offer no (or at least no meaningful) thread function and therefore no topic grouping. The bottom line with threads here is that you can still reply to specific messages easily even when they’re older. As we discussed earlier, the related responses are then presented in the form of a coherent discussion tree in the microblog, which is not the case in many group chats. But we just discussed that.

These differences between each of the messenger functions don’t make it easy to compare the two formats for chats and microblogs. Instead, you have to drill down to the level of the individual tools. 

In discussions with customers, I always find that they’ve already checked out mentally at this point: “Please stop, this is all too detailed for me! This isn’t really helping me to understand things better. How is all this going to help?”

If you thought the same thing just now, you have my sympathy. But it’s not an attitude that will necessarily help your company. If you don’t perform a litmus test on all the platform’s functions and really “experience” how it works, it’s the users who are most likely to ultimately stumble across any unanswered questions. And then you’ll still have to deal with it, just later. So, where am I meant to post this now? In the chat? Or in the microblog? Or as a blog article? Or as a wiki page? Or maybe as a Word or Google Docs document? 

Until now, we’ve only dealt with chats and microblogs as an alternative. What I would hope, however, is that intranet teams do not limit themselves to just these two channels, but also go on to include blogs, intranet pages, and other special forms and use them appropriately. Special channels include, for instance, one-to-one conversations, formal meetings, and phone calls, as well as phone and video conferences. A good intranet also helps the user to find their way around in this jungle of possibilities.

Before we continue to delineate the various forms of communication mentioned, however, I’d like to present an example that goes beyond chats and microblogs and works with intranet blog articles (i.e. news), intranet pages, and other channels. In this way, I can more effectively show you how ideas are born, thrive, but also die.

Link to this page:

The Social Intranet

Foster collaboration and strengthen communication. Be effective with enterprise intranets mobile and in the cloud.

Virtual Collaboration in Companies: Social Intranets as a Digital Home 

Never before has the business world been so overrun by cloud software and specialized vendors as it is now. There is so much software out there that it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of things. It is all the more important for the future of work to have a place for digital meeting - a reliable home port meaningfully networked with numerous other systems that makes it quick and easy to navigate. This will increase transparency in the company and make collaboration more effective. Based on many years of experience, this book tells you how it already works in today's digitalized world and which trends you probably should rather than shouldn't follow.

About the author

Martin Seibert was 17 when he founded the software company Seibert Media. Twenty-four years later, it has nearly 200 employees and generates 35 million euros in annual sales. He has been sharing his enthusiasm for technology in YouTube videos for many years - and now also in his new book about social intranets.

Free for interested parties

Paperback on Amazon

eBook on Amazon

This content was last updated on 03/31/2021.

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