Social intranets evolution or revolution

The Techbubble blog has published an interesting blog post on Social intranets, which for anyone considering implementing a social intranet is well worth a read.

In the post called "Social intranets evolution or revolution" the author looks at some of the reasons why social intranets are becoming the norm in terms of intranets. The author then goes on to outline some of the challenges faced by organisations when implementing social intranets. 

According to the blog post there are 6 main benefits to implementing a social intranet, they are:

  1. Employee engagement - social intranets allow ALL employees to participate, not just those who have rights to edit the intranet or the intranet team
  2. Communications - social intranets have the potential to significantly improve the way an organisation communicates with its employees and the methods by which employees can communicate with management
  3. Knowledge capture - this is quite interesting, but unfortunately the author doesn't go into a lot of detail about how exactly social intranets can help capture knowledge. My perspective on this is that with social intranets comes much more personalisation and interaction, this usually takes the form of rich profiles, activity streams and group functionality. This functionality allows individuals to create more personalised workspaces where they can share knowledge more effectively.
  4. Collaboration - tools like wikis, blogs and activity streams help highlight work that other individuals are doing and help build on a collaborative culture
  5. Collective learning and training - This is the idea that a social intranet can "showcase" training and more value can be added by creating wikis and "topic forums" to support learning
  6. Innovation - From polls to toolboxes and widgets, social intranets can be truly innovative

There are of course a number of challenges that organisations will face when implementing social intranets including;

  • Technical issues
  • Knowledge management issues
  • Cultural issues
  • The social tool selection
  • Training
  • Governance and good practice

This is a useful article if you're interested in reading about some of the benefits and challenges associated with social intranets.