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November/December 2013
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In intranet projects, visual design all too often takes a back seat to priorities such as information design, functionality, and performance. Yet great visual design and branding have positive impacts on adoption, engagement, communication, and productivity. By making aesthetics a higher priority, we can deliver intranets that have a greater impact within our organizations.As the intranet has expanded beyond flat content to include online services and collaboration, it's become more essential to the organization. However, the proliferation of utilitarian tools and systems that make up this type of "heterogeneous intranet" has created a messy, inconsistent design and user experience.
Editorial/Columns November/December 2013 Issue,
Most organizations will have most or all content online. It may be in a content or document management system or a collaborative tool, e.g., discussion forum. But how much value do you, other people, or your organization place on the information's value? How can you show the value of information and help people to recognize it? Let us start with two types of information we see in an intranet.Accredited-Validated content is authoritative and reliable. People will use it with confidence, knowing it is current and relevant. It is usually information that has a large audience. A limited number of people can edit the information, with access controlled by permission. Usually one person will have clear ownership.
Editorial/Columns November/December 2013 Issue,
There is no shortage of pundits in the intranet business. Almost every month, someone comes up with 10 things that every intranet should have, or do, or avoid. I've been guilty of this myself. During the last 15 years, I have had the privilege of walking into a very diverse range of organizations which have sought my help in redeveloping an intranet and meeting an equally diverse group of managers. In most cases, these individuals did not start out their careers wishing to achieve fame and fortune as intranet managers and, until taking responsibility (often in the absence of any other candidates), had no idea of what the position entailed or offered. Even now, few of these people have the title of "intranet manager." More importantly, they have no obvious career development opportunities.
Editorial/Columns By Martin White - Sept/Oct 2013 Issue,
Practicing what we preach. A taste of our own medicine. These sayings should be at the heart of what we, aa information professionals, should say and do.My March/April "Cobbler's Children" column covered the need to ensure that our own team's content on the intranet follows the same standards that we expect others to meet. To this we can add that every member of our team has a staff directory record that is accurate, complete, and up-to-date. Having done this, can we afford to sit back and relax? Definitely not!
Editorial/Columns By Mike Chapman - Sept/Oct 2013 Issue,
According to a recent study, 55% of all Big Data projects are not completed or fail to meet expectations. By January 2013, Gartner said Big Data had reached its "trough of disillusionment." Big Data is based on high-volume, rapidly changing, and varied information. Although there have been significant technical advances that enable processing of these more complex data streams, the challenges of harnessing this technology for business value creation remain.
Editorial/Columns By Seth Earley - Sept/Oct 2013 Issue,
In my earlier column, I stressed the importance of using simple texts that can be understood by all your employees. But there are other things that you have to be aware of to make the most of your multinational intranet. Take pictures, for instance. They appeal to everyone; look at how Pinterest has taken the world by storm. But with illustrations, it is wise to think before you post.
Editorial/Columns By Ellen Van Aken - July/Aug 2013 Issue,
When intranets first started to pop up about 20 years ago, they were mainly used by people working in offices on desktop computers. People used intranets to find the latest company news, up-to-date policies, reliable content, and, most importantly, to find and contact other people in their organization. Now, as intranets are transforming into digital workplaces, we see a wider range of information and tools available for people to use (e.g., room bookings, online training, and collaboration tools to share ideas and find out answers to work problems).
Editorial/Columns By Mark Morrell - May/June 2013 Issue,
Gamification--applying game design thinking to nongame applications--has been a hot trend in recent years. Advocates claim gamification promotes participation by creating engaging experiences. Using game mechanics to create incentives is nothing new. Creating competition by offering rewards and recognition is a motivational technique that's been employed for centuries. Games tap directly into the cognitive and psychological predispositions of humans to participate in behavior they find interesting, rewarding, and engaging.
Editorial/Columns By Sharon O'Dea - May/June 2013 Issue,
Outside the temperature was minus 9 degrees Celsius, but inside the headquarters of the main Swedish railway company, the room was warm and so was the welcome from other members of the J. Boye intranet experts group. This is just one of the 58 groups run by J. Boye, a small but flourishing Danish company set up 10 years ago by Janus Boye. The J. Boye groups are not the only such initiative in the intranet space. Another Danish company, IntraTeam, also offers a range of groups, and, of course, this is the foundation of the Intranet Benchmarking Forum.
Editorial/Columns By Martin White - March/April 2013 Issue,
To who in your organization really has their finger on the pulse? Is it the CEO, the chief operating officer, or that proverbial, all-knowing guy manning your HQ's reception desk? While preparing a pitch a few weeks back, I asked myself this question, and I came to a conclusion that seemed so obvious, it left me wondering why I hadn't reached it before.At a recent conference, someone spoke about having played a key role in the launch of an internal brand survey. So who was the person doing the presentation who had been involved in this important piece of work? The CEO, COO, or receptionist? No-you guessed it--it was the intranet manager.
Editorial/Columns By Mike Chapman - March/April 2013 Issue,
Long ago, the CEO of my company posted an article about sustainability on the intranet. I read it three times but did not understand it at all. Although English was the intercompany language, most employees were not exactly fluent in English, and many did not have or want to speak it during their daily work.The article had been written by a native speaker. He was new to the company and had been hired partly because he had a large experience in writing intranet news articles ... for American audiences. He and hiscolleagues had never realized that his texts were too difficult for a worldwide audience in a manufacturing organization.
Editorial/Columns By Ellen Van Aken - JanuaryFebruary 2013 Issue,
Intranet solutions that delight users require the right information architecture (IA): taxonomy, metadata, and navigation design. They also depend on integrating the IA into tagging, search, application development, and a governance framework. With lots of moving parts to an intranet solution, senior managers often seek consulting assistance. Some seek to fill technical skill gaps in their organizations, while others look for a partner that can lead them through a comprehensive approach.
Editorial/Columns By Seth Earley - JanuaryFebruary 2013 Issue,
Since the dawn of organizations, there has been a need to manage how their people behave-encouraging, sometimes even mandating, how work tasks need to be carried out and by whom.There can be a variety of reasons for policies; business, regulatory, and legal are the most common. The way that policies are created, updated, and developed has changed very little in my experience working in or with organizations. When a policy is created or needs to be reviewed, it will normally be the owner who will start some form of consultation exercise. This may simply be an email to a few representatives across the organization asking if there are any changes they want made to existing policies or what needs to be included in new policies.
Editorial/Columns By Mark Morrell - November/December 2012 Issue,
When I run workshops on intranets, I sometimes put down cards on the floor labeled HR, IT, Communications, etc., and ask people to stand on the card that reflects where their intranet sponsorship comes from. Typically, there are clusters around Communications and IT, one on Knowledge Management, and a few people who end up playing Twister, trying to straddle multiple cards. Others merely sigh and shuffle over to the Nobody card.
Editorial/Columns By Sam Marshall - November/December 2012 Issue,
There's a social network for just about everyone and everything-and that may include your company's intranet. But if you haven't seen an example of a social intranet, it can be hard to picture. Are people just wasting time posting status updates and pictures of the cafeteria food? Or are users being bombarded with boring updates about which document was recently edited? It's hard for the average person to wrap his mind around.
Editorial/Columns By Theresa Cramer - September/October 2012 Issue,
Typical requirements for today's corporate intranet include "one-stop shopping" for information; the ability to capture and organize corporate knowledge and expertise; tools to connect people to systems, applications, and other people; collaborative workspaces; enterprise systems integration; a dashboard for key performance indicators; and customization.
Editorial/Columns By Seth Earley - September/October 2012 Issue,
Over the past decade, James Robertson and his colleagues at Step Two Designs Pty Ltd. have had a global impact on the development of intranets through workshops, reports, books, and the Column Two blog. This global impact is all the more extraordinary since it comes all the way from Sydney. The advice has always been a blend of vision and practicality, with a strong focus on identifying and meeting user requirements. In 2011, Robertson branched out into conferences with Intranets 2011, and this year he invited me to take part in Intranets 2012. From the U.K., this involves a flight of about 20 hours with just a 2-hour break in Singapore.
Editorial/Columns By Martin White - July/August 2012 Issue,
I recently returned from Confab 2012: The Content Strategy Conference—the brainchild of Kristina Halvorson of Brain Traffic—where my company was a sponsor and I delivered a full-day workshop on taxonomy, metadata, and search to about 65 attendees. The conference debuted last year and sold out with 400 attendees. This is practically unheard of for a first-time conference. What was the secret? I think there were a number of things. Certainly the topic—Content Strategy—was timely, and there was an enormous need for this kind of event. But another key factor was the use of social media marketing.
Editorial/Columns By Seth Earley - July/August 2012 Issue,
I read with interest Jane McConnell's article on governance in the digital workplace [November/December 2011 Intranets, p. 6]. McConnell highlighted how her "Digital Workplace Trends 2012" survey showed how a strategic decision-making body can increase the chances of creating an effective digital workplace.During my time as BT Group PLC's intranet manager, my intranet role was in group communications as part of a team focused on the intranet, internet, web publishing, design, and development. Group communications felt like the best place to be to improve the intranet. It was seen by other parts of the business as right too: Our authority was accepted, and it was not challenged when it came to managing information online and working directly with our IT partners.
Editorial/Columns By Mark Morrell - May/June 2012 Issue,
Recently, I've heard a number of case studies in which companies have decided that the current intranet is so outdated that management has decided to launch a new social platform and simply leave the old site to stagger along, rather than try to migrate or integrate it. At best, they may use the new platform to create a few links to the most used content on the old site. Is this really the best way for traditional intranet and social intranet approaches to coexist? Many organizations have invested heavily in highly structured and well-governed intranets, but they also struggle to get regular, widespread content contributions. A social approach offers the promise of higher engagement levels and more dynamic content, but introducing these toolsin tension with the existing intranet can cause confusion about where things should live. This leads to concerns that there will be a loss of content control or a loss of structure as topics get duplicated on different systems. Both of these ultimately threaten to degrade the user experience.
Editorial/Columns By Sam Marshall - May/June 2012 Issue,
As I sit here writing this column, I'm using any number of collaboration tools to make it happen. I check a wiki for due dates and deadlines. I use Dropbox to send files off to the copy editors and to get proofs back. I use Gmail chat to ask my co-workers quick questions, and every once in a great while, I log into the company intranet-usually to find an email address or phone number.The collection of tools I use to produce an issue of Intranets has been cobbled together over the years and passed down from editors gone before me. Even when we had a proper office, our group was far removed from Information Today, Inc.'s main office. We could not just run down the hall to someone's desk, or even reliably access the servers set up to help us deliver materials. If the power went out in Medford, N.J., our office in Connecticut was often left without access to much of what we needed to get our jobs done.
Editorial/Columns By Theresa Cramer - March/April 2012 Issue,
Although the concept of a digital workplace goes back to some inspirational thinking in 2000 by Jeff Beir, the co-founder of eRoom Technology, it is only over the past couple of years that serious attention has been paid to the potential value of a digital workplace. In this issue's Read_Me_File (page 5), I reviewed a report by NetStrategy/JMC, which set out scenarios for digital workplaces. The "Digital Workplace Trends 2012" survey from NetStrategy/JMC indicated that 20% of respondents had managed to create a highly integrated intranet from a user perspective, even if behind the scenes not all the applications were tightly integrated. That is real progress.
Editorial/Columns By Martin White - March/April 2012 Issue,
Microsoft's SharePoint 2010 provides features that enable organizations to deploy content-rich applications in less time and for less cost. SharePoint creates an opportunity for more efficient content curation, search relevancy, and automated display of related content on your intranet.SharePoint 2010 has constructs that did not exist in 2007-namely content types and managed metadata across site collections. Content types are collections of metadata along with rules for how a document created with the content type is managed. There is support for taxonomies and folksonomies, as well as for inheritance of metadata models and structures.
Editorial/Columns By Seth Earley - January/February 2012 Issue,
I think that 2011 will be seen as the year that mobile access arrived, and 2012 will be a year of significant development. Interestingly, two of the award winners in the 2011 Intranet Innovation Awards, which were run by Step Two Designs Pty Ltd., were mobile implementations. When the next "Intranet Design Annual" report from the Nielsen Norman Group is published in early 2012, I expect there will be a significant increase in mobile application development.
Editorial/Columns By Martin White - January/February 2012 Issue,
I often hear intranet strategies that include something about "breaking down silos" as a way to improve knowledge sharing or collaboration. Silos, otherwise known as departmental barriers or cliques, have long been a target of internal social media, and knowledge management before that.
Editorial/Columns By Sam Marshall - November/December 2011 Issue,
For the past 6 years, I have run the "Global Intranet Trends" survey. This year, 2011 marks a big transition that has been a couple of years in the making. The report, published in October 2011, is titled "Digital Workplace Trends 2012." Why the term "digital workplace"? After presenting the results of the yearly "Global Intranet Trends" survey in conferences in many different countries, I was repeatedly asked, "How do you define ‘intranet'"? I gave a variety of different answers, always with a lot of discussion and friendly disagreements among the audience.
Editorial/Columns By Jane McConnell - November/December 2011 Issue,
You'd think from the buzz about social media and collaboration tools that the world is changing rapidly. And you'd be right. These tools are transforming the typical corporate intranet. The intranet doesn't need to be a one-way communications channel and home for policies. With the availability of new tools-and new mindsets-intranets can foster discussion, break silos, and transform how work is done. Yet for all the enthusiasm, the true picture is more complex. As William Gibson said, "The future is already here-it's just unevenly distributed."
Editorial/Columns By James Robertson - September/October 2011 Issue,
2011 has been an interesting year for intranets and websites. From the stories I hear at conferences and from our clients, organizations seem to be hitting a development wall. Unable to implement needed technologies and content strategies to take intranets to the next level, some organizations are starting from scratch. But others are left scratching their heads about (still) locked internal debates over whether or not the intranet team has the authority to dictate the types of changes that are required to improve user experience and quality.
Editorial/Columns By Lisa Welchman - September/October 2011 Issue,
Making a business case seems reasonably straightforward. We assume that there is a reason why the project was initiated and that someone has articulated why this particular use of funds and organizational resources is best, given the goals of the business. Still, there is frequently a gap in communications about project activities, expected outcomes, and alignment with business objectives.
Editorial/Columns By Seth Earley - July/August 2011 Issue,
A proposed deployment of SharePoint by corporate IT departments tends to be regarded by the department as an opportunity to provide a very flexible application that can meet a range of current and future requirements. But it's often regarded by intranet teams as being a highly disruptive challenge to the technical status quo of the intranet. One of the reasons for this is that, in most cases, SharePoint has appeared suddenly.
Editorial/Columns By Martin White - July/August 2011 Issue,
Since Apple, Inc. launched its App Store, more than 1 billion applications have been downloaded. This year, it expanded the idea to cover its Mac computers and sold 1 million apps on launch day. Given such unequivocal success, are there things that we might learn for the intranet world? Perhaps intranet interfaces should look more like a collection of apps than a website? Or could it be a way for employees to create a personalized experience? Both of these have merit, but what I feel has more potential in the near term is a third version: an app store for intranet site owners.
Editorial/Columns By Sam Marshall - May/June 2011 Issue,
On a silver platter" has come to mean "without work or effort." Wouldn't you love to get all the information you need to do your job on a silver platter, displayed elegantly to you, just like a well-trained server in a classy restaurant offering patrons their choice of delicacies? That's what is happening in a lot of intranets where information sprawl, out-of-control navigation, and indiscriminate information push are overwhelming people. The problem is that silver platters don't last.
Editorial/Columns By Jane McConnell - May/June 2011 Issue,
The first intranet development project that I managed was in 1996. It was for a networking hardware company in Silicon Valley that has long since been acquired. The project was to put the entire ISO 9001 approval process online. The company was small, slightly more than 20 people, and the project was driven by one of the executives. At the time, I didn't realize how unusual it was for executives to have a vision and drive the porting of various business processes to the intranet channel.
Editorial/Columns By Lisa Welchman - March/April 2011 Issue,
Mobile devices are very much in mind at the moment, and for good reason. iPhones, iPads, and Android devices have transformed how we get information as consumers. No longer just a phone, the devices in our pockets and briefcases are the portable computers that have been written about in science fiction for years-these little machines fit in the palm of your hand and make just about anything available at the touch of a button (or, more accurately, a touchscreen).
Editorial/Columns By James Robertson - March/April 2011 Issue,
In my last column, I wrote about an individual organization moving through the various stages of maturity. The same thing happens on an industrywide basis. I recently attended Taxonomy Boot Camp, where I saw colleagues and new and old clients. One client in particular stood out: The company had been embarking on a faceted search project and needed to review, evaluate, and improve a large taxonomy that was used to navigate thousands of pages of product data.
Editorial/Columns By Seth Earley - January/February 2011 Issue,
In the U.K., UKeiG ( runs an intranet forum as a community of interest for intranet managers. At a recent meeting in London, there were about 20 attendees, but none of them had the title "intranet manager." One of the main reasons was that their intranet management role was only a part-time position.
Editorial/Columns By Martin White - January/February 2011 Issue,
If your organization is not using social media to engage employees, it is risking obsolescence. A BusinessWeek cover story on corporate blogging in February 2009-more than 18 months ago-stated that, "For companies, resistance to social media is futile. ... Your competitors are already there."
Editorial/Columns By Toby Ward - November/December 2010 Issue,
International Intranets Don't Manage, Govern he global intranet manager should govern the intranet, not manage it. The word "governance" is often used to cover both, but we should make a distinction. Governance is a steering framework that defines strategic goals, decision-making (who and how), accountability, and procedures for reconciling differences. Management, on the other hand, refers to how the governance decisions and principles are put into practice.
Editorial/Columns By Jane McConnell - November/December 2010 Issue,
VBrick Systems announced that the United States Department of Justice purchased its recently released IP streaming video integration for Microsoft's Lync (formerly known as Office Communicator) and SharePoint products. The integration allows users to communicate via streaming video using these Microsoft products, allowing for a more unified communications experience.
One of the first questions we ask organizations when we start an engagement is: "Do you have any idea how much your organization spends on its website and/or intranet?" The intranet is frequently riding fiscally on the coattails of another program. This does not always allow for strategic planning for intranet development. So it's important that intranet managers begin to develop a comprehensive intranet budget.
Editorial/Columns By Lisa Welchman - September/October 2010 Issue,
Many intranets are ugly-very, very ugly. Designs dating from the 1990s, determined by the out-of-the-box layout of dated publishing tools or created by back-end developers, are commonly seen within the firewall. intranets cannot afford to be useful but ugly. Conversely, of course, they can't be beautiful but useless. Intranets may not be not sales and marketing tools or high-profile ecommerce sites, but looks still matter.
Editorial/Columns By James Robertson - September/October 2010 Issue,
Once upon a time, when the pilot shut down the engines of the aircraft, there was a short period of calm as passengers readied themselves for the torment of the baggage carousel. Now, the silence is broken by the noise of mobile phones being switched on and the beeps of messages arriving. We live in a world where being away from email and text messages for even an hour means that we are concerned that decisions have been made without our invaluable input.
Editorial/Columns By Martin White - July/August 2010 Issue,
I've just returned from a 3 week trip to Shenzhen, China, working with a large telecommunications manufacturer whose intranet for sales and marketing required development of new taxonomy and information architecture. In these situations, our first task is education.
Editorial/Columns By Seth Earley - July/August 2010 Issue,
While great intranet parts can be bought some of the time, a truly great intranet cannot be bought entirely with money alone. Truly innovative intranets possess some four general qualities: transactions, engagement, governance, and content.
Editorial/Columns By Toby Ward - May/June 2010 Issue,
From user-centered design to user satisfaction surveys, most organizations now practice some form of user involvement in the intranet. Clearly the old top-down, organizationally structured intranet is a dying species. "It's about time!" you might say. However, in some cases the pendulum has swung too far the other way.
Editorial/Columns By Jane McConnell - May/June 2010 Issue,
Many organizations limit their "social networking" policy work to the public-facing web-and do not specifically outline policies for social networking on the intranet. It is essential to re-examine all organizational policies with a view toward noting how things have changed in the management and in communications with employees.
Editorial/Columns By Lisa Welchman - Mar/Apr 2010 Issue,
I'm currently halfway through writing my next book. As part of the writing process, it's been interesting to explore common design mistakes made on intranet projects. Here are the most common mistakes I've seen.
Editorial/Columns By James Robertson - Mar/Apr 2010 Issue,
As the early American settlers set out on their journey of migration to the west in the early 1820s, they first had to cope with the Appalachian Mountains. Then the next 1,000 miles or so were fairly easy in terrain terms-though still immensely challenging and dangerous. You can imagine their disappointment as the Rocky Mountains appeared on the horizon. Over the last few years, this process has been reenacted in most organizations as the work begins to migrate content from one CMS to another.
Editorial/Columns By Martin White - Jan/Feb 2010 Issue,
It was no surprise that when the economy tanked, technology took a hit. Though things appear to be picking up, many predictors indicate IT budgets will be flat and organizations will focus on getting more out of existing investments rather than embarking on new initiatives.
Editorial/Columns By Seth Earley - Jan/Feb 2010 Issue,
One of the recessionary impacts on organizations is that employees feel neglected and less engaged. One way to remedy this is to exploit your intranet as a means of building sustainability and green practices in a "green intranet campaign."
Editorial/Columns By Paul Miller - Nov/Dec 2009 Issue,
Intranets come in many shapes and colors. Like chameleons, they adapt to their environments. The most advanced intranets today are online workplaces, blending into work environments so successfully that they may even lose their own identity.
Editorial/Columns By Jane McConnell - Nov/Dec 2009 Issue,
When intranet managers gather, common topics arise: authoring and publishing models, maintaining content quality, designing and structuring sites, protecting the intranet homepage, making search work, and choosing a suitable intra­net technology. These are important topics, but they can be considered “intranet fundamentals.” They have been well-covered and addressed. But that doesn’t mean that this knowledge is shared. The intranet industry has two tasks ahead of it: Spreading Best Practices and Innovating Intranets.
Editorial/Columns By James Robertson - Sep/Oct 2009 Issue,
For better or worse, intranets are—when compared to public-facing sites—bastions of publishing freedom. And with all the Web 2.0 technologies spawning new applications on what feels like a daily basis, the power to create intranet content is greater than ever before. Yet when we talk with folks about their intranets, we are often met with nervous looks and giggles or dismissive hand waves because the idea of truly fixing the intranet seems to be some unattainable ideal. There is the sense that if the public can't see the painfully low quality of the intranet, then it's OK for now. Everyone knows that intranets are broken, but fixing them is a lower priority than fixing public websites. I disagree.
Editorial/Columns By Lisa Welchman - Sep/Oct 2009 Issue,
I recently sat in on a very exciting presentation about how Web 2.0 will flatten organizations, unleashing knowledge and creativity locked up in employees stifled by rigid hierarchies … Oh, wait a minute—wasn’t this the same talk I heard about KM and collaboration back in 1998?
Editorial/Columns By Seth Earley - Jul/Aug 2009 Issue,
I am tired of seeing the information architecture of an intranet homepage severely compromised by the need to have the entire center section full of news, with each item in full and accompanied by a picture. I am all for intranets being communication applications, but there are a number of issues that I would like to explore about the way in which news should be managed.
Editorial/Columns By Martin White - Jul/Aug 2009 Issue,
As financial turmoil engulfs more and more organizations, intranets and related employee-facing technologies are experiencing a new injection of momentum. Intranets are being viewed by senior management as drivers of efficiency, productivity, and providers of “cultural glue” during turbulent times. (You can almost hear them thinking, “Let’s get rid of the people handling travel and automate the service via the intranet.”)
Editorial/Columns By Paul Miller - May/Jun 2009 Issue,
An operational intranet is one that provides the place to go to find what you need to do your job. It is an essential tool for staff and management. If the site goes down, people are disrupted in their work within an hour or less. My firm’s “Global Intranet Trends for 2009” report identifies three stages of intranet maturity, with Stage 3 representing organizations where the intranet has become highly operational and is the “way of working.” Large international enterprises (from 15,000 to more than 50,000 employees) represent more than 60% of the enterprises in Stage 3 in the 2008 data. A striking, often overlooked aspect of their intranets is that they offer more ways of connecting people to people.
Editorial/Columns By Jane McConnell - May/Jun 2009 Issue,
Intranet teams are busy and are pulled in many directions by different stakeholders. Resources are limited, and senior management visibility is often low. Most teams do not have the luxury of playing with technology without some level of accountability. So what can real-world teams do?
Editorial/Columns By James Robertson - Mar/Apr 2009 Issue,
The more websites I’ve observed in the past 12 years, the more I’ve noticed that there is a strong relationship between website characteristics and the dynamics of the affiliated organization. In fact, I think I’ve discovered some direct correlations. I refer to the study of these relationships as “web phrenology.”
Editorial/Columns By Lisa Welchman - Mar/Apr 2009 Issue,
Here’s something to think about: Do social networking tools such as blogs, wikis, and so forth equate with an employee-driven intranet? Wait. Don’t answer so fast. Consider these other questions first: How many people do you know who do not care in the least about what’s going in the blogosphere? How many people do you know who are very open and participative in work activities, but never participate in online forums? Yes, people have very different behaviors in relation to the internet, intranets, and social networking tools. The new tools are great, agile, and quite cost-efficient, but they are not for everyone—particularly in large, complex organizations.
Editorial/Columns By Claudio Terra - Jan/Feb 2009 Issue,
I was at a meeting of intranet managers in London late in 2008, and the question was raised about what the impact of the economic recession was going to be on intranet budgets. Several of those present were very downbeat, reporting on intranet budgets being moved to other projects and an overall feeling that the half-empty glass was leaking water very quickly indeed. Others in the room were much more optimistic, reporting on initiatives to highlight the role that the intranet was already playing in their organizations and how it could step up to further support operations as the companies are forced to reduce head counts to maintain margins.
Editorial/Columns By Martin White - Jan/Feb 2009 Issue,
I once ran a workshop for corporate intranet managers who asked me to describe the ideal homepage for their new enterprise portal. I sketched an empty box on the whiteboard, drew a line from top to bottom separating the box into two parts, one with 10% of the space and the other 90%. I told them that all they had to worry about was the little box. Local news, content, and business applications would fill the big box. My answer shocked them into several moments of stunned silence.
Editorial/Columns By Jane McConnell - Nov/Dec 2008 Issue,
What is happening and where is the intranet industry heading? Here are the eight trends I'm currently seeing through my work at the Intranet Benchmarking Forum...
Editorial/Columns By Paul Miller - Nov/Dec 2008 Issue,
With the continuing buzz around Web 2.0—and Web 3.0 discussions starting up—let’s consider the impact that this has on the operational aspect of intranet management. While the sophistication, complexity, and size of webites has increased, many companies continue to manage their web teams in the same archaic way they did in 1995—potentially increasing the risk and liability for their organizations.
Editorial/Columns By Lisa Welchman - Sep/Oct 2008 Issue,
Collaboration is a vexing topic for many intranet managers. The requests from business areas for wikis or SharePoint spaces are never-ending, but the question remains: Where do these fit in relation to the intranet?
Editorial/Columns By James Robertson - Sep/Oct 2008 Issue,
This April marked two important milestones: the 15th anniversary of the web and the 13th anniversary of the first published use of the word “intranet.” The term intranet first appeared in the April 19, 1995, issue (print-only) of Digital News & Review, following a few years after Cern put the web in the public domain on April 30, 1993.
Editorial/Columns By Mary Lee Kennedy - Jul/Aug 2008 Issue,
Q: How much attention should I be paying to Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0? I have more than enough to do with just keeping our intranet afloat.
Editorial/Columns By Martin White - Jul/Aug 2008 Issue,
Global intranet managers often suffer from a lack of image, especially in the eyes of senior management. Much of the work these teams do is strategic, yet it is not perceived as such by decision-makers, resulting in insufficient visibility, resources, and budgets.
Editorial/Columns By Jane McConnell - May/Jun 2008 Issue,
Intranets have been shaped to suit fixed conditions: an employee at a desk who logs on to a desktop machine every day. In practice, however, the range of scenarios where staff want to access such online services has gone through a revolution.
Editorial/Columns By Paul Miller - May/Jun 2008 Issue,
Intranets have come a long way in the last 10 years, from hobbies to core corporate platforms. Yet the metaphor underpinning this success is still the intranet as an “internal website.” This metaphor leads to a focus on content management, usability, information architecture, publishing models, search, and governance. These have improved the effectiveness of intranets, but there is a limit to how far they can take us.
Editorial/Columns By James Robertson - Mar/Apr 2008 Issue,
Workflows are supposed to flow, like a river. Whether your CMS workflow will run along smoothly or leave users to navigate as if they were white-water rafting has a lot to do with how you think about your workflow in the first place. Usually, when organizations are implementing a web content management system, the workflow is an afterthought. It is something the implementation team thinks about after they already purchased the software and sometimes after they have designed the system.
Editorial/Columns By Lisa Welchman - Mar/Apr 2008 Issue,
Q: The company I work for as an intranet manager has taken the decision to upgrade from SharePoint Portal Server 2003 (SPS03) to SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS07) to manage our extensive collection of project documentation. Our current SPS03 intranet is now looking quite tired, so should I use MOSS07 or a CMS for the upgrade?
Editorial/Columns By Martin White - Jan/Feb 2008 Issue,
The evolution of information and communication changes the very nature of the information professional’s work. Today it is more dynamic, and its various, loosely-coupled components are highly interdependent. We manage a relationship as experienced by our users. The experience is our focus and shared objective. How we get it done makes our lives interesting.
Editorial/Columns By Mary Lee Kennedy - Jan/Feb 2008 Issue,
A mature intranet model generally relies upon there being a network of authors publishing content and maintaining their content areas. When a new content area is created, there is much enthusiasm generated by the owners for keeping this content fresh and up-to-date and they are only happy to sign an agreement attesting to this commitment. Yet I have revisited sites a year or two after inception and found signs of stagnation: pages containing references to two-year-old statistics and benchmark data, links to marketing collateral that no longer exist, and months-old “What’s New” content. So why do these sites that are launched in a blaze of glory and sponsor’s commitment so quickly fall into disrepair?
Editorial/Columns By Rachel Alexander - Nov/Dec 2007 Issue,
Global intranet landscapes are usually made up of intranets and portals offering services and information to a variety of users. Sooner or later, a global intranet manager will be confronted with the issue of how to bring balance to this rich mosaic of content. Balance, in this case, meaning that users can find similar amounts of content for similar subjects in logical places.
Editorial/Columns By Jane McConnell - Nov/Dec 2007 Issue,
When faced with the task of improving the intranet, the focus is naturally on the desired future state of the site. Where do we want to get to? What does intranet nirvana look like?
Editorial/Columns By James Robertson - Sep/Oct 2007 Issue,
In 2004, James Surowiecki released an interesting book, The Wisdom of Crowds. In it, Surowiecki explains that wise crowds are good at guessing the correct answer to things. Wanting to write something about folksonomies and intranets brought this book to my mind. For the uninitiated, a folksonomy is user-created classification system for tagging web content.
Editorial/Columns By Lisa Welchman - Sep/Oct 2007 Issue,
Many information managers tout the essential value of collaboration tools. At organizations today, there are internal races to create the best community space or social networking environment. This quest for collaboration is not just driven by information managers, it is central to organizational dynamics in the 21st century, and significantly influenced by internet capabilities. However, unless there is a shared purpose, most of us simply do not have the time to engage in sharing information just for the sake of it. And, somewhere along the race to the finish line (should there be one), organizations are going to question the value received from social networking and collaboration efforts. Smart ones will ask this up front.
Editorial/Columns By Mary Lee Kennedy - Jul/Aug 2007 Issue,
Q. We have just had our website benchmarked against those of our competitors and now my VP wants me to do the same for our intranet. How should I go about doing this?

A. here are various approaches to benchmarking an intranet, but what I can say for certain is that you are not going to be able to do so against those of your competitors. In the U.K., there is a very active Intranet Benchmark Forum...

Editorial/Columns By Martin White - Jul/Aug 2007 Issue,
"Welcome to our site, we hope you find the information useful. We aim to provide information to help you in your job. Please let us know if there is other information that you want to read. Click on the titles on the left to find out more information.” This may not be typical, but there are intranets with sub-sites that read like this. A?content-management system isn’t enough; intranet authors need training on what content is appropriate and how it should be written.
Editorial/Columns By Rachel Alexander - May/Jun 2007 Issue,
The role of divisional and regional intranets can be both ambiguous and misleading. They are neither global nor local. Global intranet managers may feel they reproduce global content, thereby keeping users from the authoritative global site; local managers may feel they are unnecessary because they can best provide their local users with what they need. Thus, the divisional and regional intranet mangers are caught in the middle, running intranets with little guidance, other than their managers saying “we need to have an intranet.” The hard truth is that the majority of these intranets should not exist.
Editorial/Columns By Jane McConnell - May/Jun 2007 Issue,
Web governance addresses the management structures, policies, and standards that are put in place by an organization in order to manage a web presence. For most organizations, intranet web governance is ad hoc or, at best, informal. While, in general, web governance is not effectively carried out on internet sites either, most organizations at least make some pretense at trying to establish web policies and standards for their websites (particularly if the organization operates in a capacity that requires rigorous compliance to standards related to information dissemination). Intranets, not being public-facing, lag even further behind for establishing effective governance. The ideal state for any organization would be to establish a formal web-governance model.
Editorial/Columns By Lisa Welchman - Mar/Apr 2007 Issue,
It is not easy to deliver a successful intranet. While the long-term goals for the site are generally clear, the challenge is how to get from here to there. The reality is that intranet teams rarely have sufficient resources to solve the “big problems,” and many roadblocks stand in their way.
Editorial/Columns Mar/Apr 2007 Issue,
"Web science...shifts the center of gravity in engineering research from how a single computer works to how huge decentralized web systems work.” It’s pretty exciting for the web to become a research program under preeminent scholars. What, if anything, does this portend for the intranet? While much is left to speculation at this point, it raises a couple of questions, specifically the degree to which information professionals and academics study the web (the internet) vs. the degree to which the intranet is studied, and the degree to which what is studied is relevant to the intranet.
Editorial/Columns By Mary Lee Kennedy - Jan/Feb 2007 Issue,
Q. We need to improve the search on our intranet and my manager has told me to buy the Google search appliance as Google is the best in search technology. Do you agree?

A. There are actually two questions here. Let me deal with whether Google is the tops in search technology. In some respects they are (as are Yahoo! and Microsoft) but there is more to search than searching the web...

Editorial/Columns By Martin White - Jan/Feb 2007 Issue,
How can you tell when people are not satisfied with your search engine? If you run feedback activities, this will be highlighted by your user forum, annual staff survey, or even an intranet survey. Short of formal feedback activities, you may employ intranet tracking tools that indicate a high number of clicks before information is found, or show users returning to the home page after running a search rather than clicking onto a specific intranet page. Anecdotal evidence provided by staff may still be the clearest evidence that the search function is not delivering what they want.
Editorial/Columns By Rachel Alexander - Nov/Dec 2006 Issue,
There’s often a focus on the big things when it comes to technology: install a new web content management system to better manage the intranet; deploy a document management system to improve compliance; use a new collaboration suite to dramatically improve communication and project management.
Editorial/Columns By James Robertson - Nov/Dec 2006 Issue,
Web 2.0 has to be one of the hottest buzzwords ever to hit the web. The basic principle is that the web is a platform, but more than that it is a service—with software, data, and people interacting. What really matters in a world enriched by Web 2.0 are the services available and the collective intelligence that can be brought to bear on any given problem.
Editorial/Columns By Mary Lee Kennedy - Sep/Oct 2006 Issue,
I conducted a study entitled “Intranet Strategies Today and Tomorrow” during summer 2006 with large, complex, and global organizations. Approximately 90 intranet managers answered questions about strategy, decision-making, budgeting, governance, ROI, measurement, Web 2.0 technologies, home page, content strategies, and language strategies.
Editorial/Columns By Jane McConnell - Sep/Oct 2006 Issue,
As one might expect, user-centered design (UCD) principles can shift a website toward a user-centered focus. In my work, I have also effectively adapted a mix of UCD principals—personas, in particular—to support a major government intranet portal program.
Editorial/Columns By Howard McQueen - Jul/Aug 2006 Issue,
Question: I have been asked to write a three-year business strategy for our intranet as a condition for getting additional funding. Do you have any advice on how to structure the document?
Editorial/Columns By Martin White - Jul/Aug 2006 Issue,
When considering implementing a content management system (CMS) for an intranet, working with content publishers in your organization can be almost as difficult as the IT project itself. Whatever the pre-existing method for publishing content, a new CMS is likely to be somewhat more complex, requiring publishers to do some additional work like denote properties such as subject, keywords, and expiry date, or even hierarchical subject, location, and audience. If your publishers haven’t been adding these elements before, then there may be some resistance to adding them now. You need to have persuading strategies in place during training.
Editorial/Columns By Rachel Alexander - May/Jun 2006 Issue,
An intranet audit in a large, international organization is a complex affair. It is easy to produce misleading numbers, create accidental bias, and ignore cultural differences—at the intranet’s peril.
Editorial/Columns By Jane McConnell - May/Jun 2006 Issue,
At home, you have broadband, with a wireless router allowing you to surf the net anywhere in your house. Your news aggregator tracks RSS feeds of dozens of different blogs, and your bookmarks are stored in Having long since abandoned film cameras, all your digital photos are uploaded to Flickr to share with your friends. Maybe you even post to your own blog. The Web seems to be undergoing a new phase of rapid evolution, under the “Web 2.0” banner. Whatever it is called, there are many new services being delivered, driven by entirely new forms of interaction. It’s an exciting time to be using the Web . . . well, at home anyway. When you get work, it’s a whole different story.
Editorial/Columns By James Robertson - Mar/Apr 2006 Issue,
Intranet teams should proactively participate during the acquisition of content management technologies in their organizations. Public Web initiatives may get the spotlight, but if a CMS is to serve as a pivotal organizational asset, intranet teams need to step up and get involved. Typically, during the initial discovery phase for CMS selection, we find that the requirements for the intranet are much more sophisticated than are those for Internet-based sites. When we point this out to the CMS stakeholders, they get a glazed look in their eyes and a faint Mona Lisa smile on their lips.
Editorial/Columns By Lisa Welchman - Mar/Apr 2006 Issue,
Consider the impact of a catastrophic event such as Hurricane Katrina in the context of organizations that can no longer count on an historical or even a current record of business operations, intellectual assets, and customer relationships. In fact, the potential for knowledge and information to disappear is significant for many organizations due, among other reasons, to population shifts, disadvantages in infrastructure, culture, and surprise events.
Editorial/Columns By Mary Lee Kennedy - Jan/Feb 2006 Issue,
Question: We need to make a substantial investment in our corporate intranets, including implementing content management and search solutions. I have been asked to present a business case using an ROI analysis, but I just can’t get a handle on the numbers. Any suggestions?
Editorial/Columns By Martin White - Jan/Feb 2006 Issue,
So, you’ve got to the point of running your intranet when the feedback from statistics and readers begins to show a reduction in usage. This is when intranet managers should begin to rethink things like navigation, content, and overall look and feel. Consider taking a look at the purpose: Is this intranet a tool to disseminate news from the communications team? Is it a mechanism to allow teams to share information between themselves rather than using the network? Is it a tool to enable front line staff to gather knowledge about competitors and products.
Editorial/Columns By Rachel Alexander - Nov/Dec 2005 Issue,
Trusting the intranet means you go to it when you need information, you know where to find it, and you know it is reliable and up-to-date. It’s hard for any organization to achieve this level of collective trust, but the diversity and vastness of an international organization makes it a real challenge. Trust usually grows from knowing people, but in an international organization, you’ll never know everyone you work with. You need to trust the intranet itself, not the individual content providers: this collective trust can be built through an Information Architecture (IA) strategy based on user logic and double ownership.
Editorial/Columns By Jane McConnell - Nov/Dec 2005 Issue,
Inserting usability practices dramatically improves the quality of the outcomes of development projects. Usability helps focus and prioritize tasks users need to accomplish. Usability identifies and records user frustration and failure to complete a task. Usability is not exclusively a negative feedback mechanism as it also captures user satisfaction. I have developed four usability steps I now rely on when developing intranet applications, portal interfaces, and other technology projects.
Editorial/Columns By Howard McQueen - Sep/Oct 2005 Issue,
Just because your intranet has a huge volume of content, it doesn’t mean you have to spend all your time maintaining it. When new intranet managers are appointed, they are generally confronted with an intranet that has grown organically over many years. Consisting of thousands (or tens of thousands) of pages, many intranet sub-sites and applications, these intranets are daunting for even the most experienced intranet manager.
Editorial/Columns By James Robertson - Sep/Oct 2005 Issue,
It seems like just a matter of time before everyone will be blogging—or at least know someone who knows somebody who is. Considering how open most of us are these days to new technologies, the likelihood seems high. Blogs are open-source publishing for all. They cover topics ranging from the mundane to the technical and inside the firewall, blogs can provide a knowledge marketplace.
Editorial/Columns By Mary Lee Kennedy - Jul/Aug 2005 Issue,
Question: Our intranet has been owned by just about every department in the organization. It started in IT, who then handed it over to marketing because they managed the corporate site. It turned out that they had no interest in internal communications, so our corporate communications team took it on. Now this team is being disbanded and our intranet is about to be rudderless. Any suggestions as to who should be taking responsibility for the management of the intranet?
Editorial/Columns By Martin White - Jul/Aug 2005 Issue,
We often read about the benefits of metadata for intranet content management systems. We know that adding keywords and subject categories to each content page improves the findability of content and renders search results more useful. Creating a thesaurus from which to select keywords and using a taxonomy to categorize pages can also assist with the Information Architecture of the site. Well, all this is true, but what may not be obvious is that metadata has just as much value for the casual browser as it does for loftier CM objectives.
Editorial/Columns By Rachel Alexander - May/Jun 2005 Issue,
Language strategies are moving targets, evolving with enterprise strategies as well as business and operational changes. To develop and maintain an effective one, you need to start by asking the right questions. Once you know what you’d like to achieve, see how technology can help you, how much it will cost, and what organizational changes are needed. Over the years, I’ve developed some “reality checkpoints” that may prove helpful to you when analyzing language needs.
Editorial/Columns By Jane McConnell - May/Jun 2005 Issue,
Persona development—the creation of stand-in archetypes to represent the behaviors of key customers—is emerging as one of the most effective methods to prioritize and profile key customer segments. Persona development enables stakeholders to build, communicate, and share a common, evidence-based understanding of customers. This allows teams to design, build, and sustain better information products like Web sites, enewsletters, and search interfaces. Here is an overview of the development methodology that the Persona Alliance (myself, Martin White, and Elizabeth Randolph) have evolved over the past 18 months.
Editorial/Columns By Howard McQueen - Mar/Apr 2005 Issue,
In my first Intranets column of 2005, it seems a good time to step back and reflect on the fundamental nature and purpose of intranets. Or to put it another way: what is your intranet actually for? Having worked with many organizations on intranet development, I am constantly surprised by how few have a satisfactory answer to this question. Yet I have come to realize that an intranet will not succeed in the long term if its purpose isn’t understood clearly.
Editorial/Columns By James Robertson - Mar/Apr 2005 Issue,
Anyone who has checked out the field of interactive design has seen the incredible results that user-centric design brings to products today. Alan Cooper really brought something important to the fore: It is users who will decide if something is useful or not. It was a novel concept in 1999. Since then, the principles have been successfully applied to the Web, portals, Web-based products like online movie systems, and a variety of devices. Today, the consensus is that customers rule.
Editorial/Columns By Mary Lee Kennedy - Jan/Feb 2005 Issue,
Question: Over the years, our engineering company’s intranet has expanded enormously, but it is actually a collection of about 20 individual intranets and a corporate homepage. We’re getting comments about difficulty finding information and think we ought to set some standards. However, the intranet team manager says that standards inhibit creativity and is not willing to support us. Do you have any suggestions?

Answer: I ran a workshop on standards and good practice at Intranets 2004 and was somewhat surprised that companies in the engineering and manufacturing sectors seemed to have the most problems with getting standards established. It was almost as though employees were so fed up with having to work to very high standards in everything else they did, that not conforming to an intranet standard was a relief. However, knowing that a tool we use at work or at home conforms to standards creates a feeling of confidence in it and usually speeds the time it takes to learn how to use it as well. An intranet is no different...

Editorial/Columns By Martin White - Jan/Feb 2005 Issue,
While reviewing intranets, I often come across instances where a team knows that they need to communicate information with the rest of the organization , but to do so, they publish all of their paper materials. This may fulfill the desire to put all communications online, but without an appreciation of what users want and how they use information, it will all go unread. Communication is, after all, a two-way process.
Editorial/Columns By Rachel Alexander - Nov/Dec 2004 Issue,
In developed countries, everyone has the right to public services such as transportation, communication, and education. When the intranet serves as a utility for the way a company works it becomes as essential as water and electricity; it becomes a public service. Likewise, in an international company, all employees should have equal access to intranet services. In reality you often find populations living above the digital poverty line and others below it—pockets of wealth alongside pockets of poverty.
Editorial/Columns By Jane McConnell - Nov/Dec 2004 Issue,
Running an intranet isn’t easy. There are so many different issues and tasks to manage, it can sometimes feel like you are juggling—keeping a dozen balls in the air, making sure that none of them get dropped. It was also once suggested to me that running an intranet is like running a small business. As a small business owner, you have the responsibility to handle everything, including promotion, sales, payroll, budgets, inventory, and a hundred other things. There’s no one else who can do these things, and if you fail to keep up with some of the key activities, you go bust. Regardless of the metaphor, there are many different aspects to consider when managing an intranet. If you are lucky, you have an intranet team to support you. Even then, there is a lot to accomplish with a small team.
Editorial/Columns By James Robertson - Sep/Oct 2004 Issue,
Federal government intranets and portals have devolved into a patchwork of roll-your-own platforms. At one U.S. agency, the CIO’s office has initiated a portal program in an attempt to straighten things out. What is unique about this agency’s approach is that business units—rather than the IT department—are being given the opportunity to set the portal standards.
Editorial/Columns By Howard McQueen - Sep/Oct 2004 Issue,
Not long ago, information professionals were hampered by the limitations of information technology. This was especially so in fostering the creation of new knowledge and connecting people in meaningful, non-text-based ways. While technology considerations remain important ones, most info pros agree that now the really tough challenges in increasingly complex organizations are related to people and processes. The goal is to deliver content in context—in a convenient form and format for information and knowledge exchange, with as little disruption and as significant a performance boost as possible—to individuals, teams, and organizations. With this focus shift, there comes an opportunity to be creative, to reassess and increase the capabilities of the intranet, to determine the usefulness of adopting Internet trends (like the shift of “power” to the individual), and to consider ways to leverage emerging forms of information sharing and communication.
Editorial/Columns By Mary Lee Kennedy - Jul/Aug 2004 Issue,
Question: I have circulated a proposal to our senior management group about implementing a CMS, but our CIO says that what the organization needs is a portal that enables staff to personalize the information they need to access. What are your views? Answer:As you walk around a gallery or a museum the door to each room holds a wonderful collection of paintings or artifacts, each labeled and placed in context. Yet few people ever wonder about the skill and effort involved in creating the display. A few years ago, enterprise information portals (EIP) were all the rage. Circa 2000/2001, there were over 100 vendors, and everyone was forecasting the death of the intranet. Luckily for my consulting business they were wrong, and, as it turns out, Plumtree is about the only independent portal vendor left standing...
Editorial/Columns By Martin White - Jul/Aug 2004 Issue,
Question: Our intranet has been owned by just about every department in the organization. It started in IT, who then handed it over to marketing because they managed the corporate site. It turned out that they had no interest in internal communications, so our corporate communications team took it on. Now this team is being disbanded and our intranet is about to be rudderless. Any suggestions as to who should be taking responsibility for the management of the intranet?
Editorial/Columns By Martin White - Jul/Aug 2004 Issue,
Describing content as “global” or “local” is common practice in many international companies. In fact, it is an illusion that rarely corresponds with reality and can lead to a waste of time and money. Capital G Global is a theoretical concept that has little meaning for managers and employees in the trenches. Better to distinguish “common” versus “specific”: Distinguish pertinent content for all employees from content that needs to be personalized for identified populations. The distinction depends on company strategy, organization, and culture and will even vary within a company and from subject to subject.
Editorial/Columns By Jane McConnell - May/Jun 2004 Issue,
Does it really matter who runs your intranet? Users may not realize the implications of the question, but if they struggle to use their intranet effectively—can’t find the information they need, find duplicate versions of documents, need to learn new browsing techniques for each area, get annoyed with flashing graphics, wonder why their staff directory is out of date, or don’t understand how to use it—then they probably have a poorly run intranet.
Editorial/Columns By Rachel Alexander - May/Jun 2004 Issue,
One of the most baffling aspects of intranets seems to be their low levels of usage. But how do you go about determining demand for the intranet? Demand-driven intranet development should not be a new concept. Here are some methods to identify demand and begin to regain the trust and respect of the end-user community.
Editorial/Columns By Howard McQueen - Mar/Apr 2004 Issue,
Most intranets grow organically, starting with a single person creating a site made up of a handful of pages. Once the awareness of this initial intranet grew, so did the number of pages. With each new section added ad-hoc, without any overall plan or vision, the intranet quickly grew into a sprawling mass of content.
Editorial/Columns By James Robertson - Mar/Apr 2004 Issue,
Given the trend of companies downsizing (what a charming euphemism for laying-off employees), corporate survivors have a lot more than survivor guilt to deal with. Despite limited resources, department heads face an ever-increasing demand for intellectual capital. Enter the intranet, which was supposed to be an inward-facing microcosm of what the Internet has accomplished for communication worldwide: an exponential increase in information availability and the facilitation of communication. Yet, like so many attempts at translating the organic information explosion of the Internet into managed business processes, it’s taking more than a few tries to get it right.
Editorial/Columns By Michelle Manafy - Jan/Feb 2004 Issue,
Intranets provide a great platform to share information—in portals, team sites, personal sites, and more. They offer a way to transport information too—through Web services, learning objects, and Web parts. More and more end-users demand, or imagine, that information should be available in their workflow at the point of learning or decision-making. It isn't just a question of finding information anymore, although that isn't a done deal yet. It isn't even about having it "pushed" to you. Right now, users literally wonder: Can I have all the information I need within my work application—be it authoring a document, checking a sales account, collaborating in a community, or participating in an online conference? The answer to the above question is yes. Achieving content integration, on the other hand, is not easy.
Editorial/Columns By Mary Lee Kennedy - Jan/Feb 2004 Issue,
Question: Since we re-launched our intranet a few months ago, the number of hits each month has gradually decreased, and I am under pressure from my manager to re-justify the investment in the new content management system. Do you have any tips on how to increase the use of the intranet? Answer: Before I suggest some ways of increasing use, maybe the problem is not as bad as it may seem; page hits alone do not tell the full story...
Editorial/Columns By Martin White - Jan/Feb 2004 Issue,
It seems like just a matter of time before everyone will be blogging—or at least know someone who knows somebody who is. Considering how open most of us are these days to new technologies, the likelihood seems high. Blogs are open-source publishing for all. They cover topics ranging from the mundane to the technical. Beyond technology, blogs seem to be the liberating experience that humans desire in order to be heard.
Editorial/Columns By Mary Lee Kennedy - Jul/Aug 2003 Issue,
Last year the September/October issue of Intranet Professional covered Northern Lights enterprise solutions, Intranets 2001, and knowledge architecture. Little did we know then how dramatically the world would change just after the issue was published. For example, we now know that September 11, 2001, was a knowledge management disaster of catastrophic proportion.
Editorial/Columns By Jane Dysart - Sep/Oct 2002 Issue,
The editor's intro to the 2002 volume of Intranet Professional.
Editorial/Columns By Mary Lee Kennedy - Jan/Feb 2002 Issue,