Last week I was fortunate enough to join 100 other intranet professionals at the first ever Intranet Now conference. This was a conference that had been organized within the space of four months by Wedge Black and Brian Lamb.
I was particularly excited about attending this conference because it would be my first "un-conference" this is a non-traditional conference in the sense that attendees create the agenda by suggesting sessions that they run themselves, with input from the other attendees. This and the fact that the morning sessions were a mixture of 20 minute Keynote sessions and 5 minute ignite style sessions gave the conference a real buzz that I haven't felt at another conference recently. This has been confirmed by the very positive feedback the conference has received in the days since.
This feedback includes two write up's from Martin White of Intranet Focus (linked below) and a write up by Gloria Lombardi of Simply Communicate (also linked below)
- Intranet Now great expectations exceeded
- Intranet Now 2014 - The morning sessions
- The Intranet - Where are we Now?
- 7 things about intranets I learned the hard - Sam Marshall of Clearbox Consulting
- Intranet Features you need right now - Sharon O'Dea
- The future of work and the digital workplace - Jonathan Phillips
It seems like it has been a while since I posted anything about intranets, so I thought I'd write a post that
covered not one but two (almost) related topics. That topic is "names" and the reason I'm posting about names is because of two (unrelated) blog posts which I've read on this subject.
The first is a post on one of my favourite blogs the Intranetizen blog and is called "What does your intranet job title mean?" In it the authors ask the blog readers to complete a survey on what their job title is and their role and responsibilities. I would encourage you to complete this survey, but naturally only if you work with intranets or other internal communication tools! It will definitely be interesting to see what the range and scope of the job titles are when the Intranetizen team publish the survey results.
The other blog post is from the Intranet Connections blog and is called "Top 6 names for intranet software" in it the author looks at some of the other names organisations have given their intranets/intranet software. These range from; internal employee website to enterprise social network. I actually think some of the names listed in the blog posts aren't actually intranets, but I totally see the point the blog post is trying to make. That is that whilst intranets might have many different names they all do very similar things and irrespective of what you call it the aim of an intranet, enterprise social network or internal communication software will broadly be the same.
Posted by James Mullan in Running on Monday, 28 July 2014
There are also some other notable differences between this race and the last time that I ran it, they are in no particular order:
- I'm 4 years older
- I've completed two marathons since 2010
- I've joined Gravesend Road Runners AC and was delighted to be wearing my club strip
- I knew what the course was like, undulating but with a fast final 4K
- Perhaps most importantly I wasn't injured
- This was my first race wearing my Garmin Forerunner 110
Have you just decided that SharePoint is going to be your next intranet, but you're unsure where to start on the implementation process? Fear not as help is on hand in the shape of this excellent presentation from James Robertson.
In the presentation James looks at the approach organisations should take, not just when implementing a SharePoint, but any intranet. So this is an excellent resource for anyone just starting out on an intranet project.
One of the key points James makes and which resonates a lot with me is the following point:
- The work isn’t over once the coding has been finished — launch and governance activities are equally important.
In the blog post Gerry looks at the challenges organisations face in making information in silos available to users. Unsurprisingly having information contained in silos and separate repositories will seriously hinder how well individuals can collaborate within organisations. As Gerry says in his post:
The culture of silos will hurt all data and information. It will lead to duplication, confusion, inaccuracy, slowness, incomplete information. It will become a significant drain on resources as employees waste their time navigating through many systems with different interfaces.Gerry than looks at how in the World Cup many teams had outstanding individuals, including Argentina who made it to the final, but only one country had a team and that country was Germany. This is similar to how organisations work in that many organisations will have teams that work well in isolation (silos) but ultimately need to work in a joined up manner to help the organisation work more effectively.
This means that intranet managers and those working in the digital sphere need to work hard at linking the silos of information together. Only when the different information silos are joined up will organisations be able to work effectively as a team. For intranet managers this also means building bridges between people and content (becoming a digital bridge builder).
This is most definitely a challenge for intranet managers and those working in the digital workplace, but one I'm sure we're all open to.
Looking for a good introduction to what a social intranet is and how it can help your employees/business? Then the short video below, which was published to the IT Portal website is a good starting point.
The video "stars" Lori Williams from Appiro whose company provides a social intranet solution for many organisations.
Jenni Wheeler over at the "Confessions of an internal communicatior" blog has written a thought provoking post called "Social Intranet or Enterprise Social Network? Is there a difference?"
In it Jenni ask whether we should separate all the different tools we use, intranets, enterprise social networks, wikis, forums etc, as they are all effectively just part of a single online channel. I definitely agree with this, especially in the context of the digital workplace where intranets are often regarded as the glue by which other tools are joined together.
What I especially like about Jenni's post is her description of the different levels of social interaction that users can undertake on the tools that are now available.
For me, a social intranet is different to an enterprise social network (ESN). For me, an enterprise social network is an online tool that is designed for collaboration. That is about communities and file sharing and creating a space for anyone to add news and information. Content can be liked and commented on and people are able to add their own status updates and more personal details to a profile.For me this is a great way to describe the differences between these tools, but what do you think?