Footnotes for a social intranet

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A few footnotes and suggestions for supporting intranet social media (intranet 2.0):

Folksonomy – a folksonomy is surprisingly simple to implement (or begin); it’s far less advanced that you’d believe, and requires far less set-up than a taxonomy. But most organizations could benefit from both. For a folksonomy, all you need to do is give employees the tool to ‘tag’ content with keywords and then your folksonomy grows organically. A taxonomy requires careful thought and skilled planning and execution that is properly supported by technology and governance – it’s far more difficult to implement.

Intranet wikis – the success of wikis have less to do with features than the content itself and the change management (communications + education) used to support them. Having said that, nine times out of ten I believe a rich wiki solution such as Confluence or ThoughtFarmer will produced more engaged and active users than say MediaWiki or the default out-of-the-box wiki that comes with SharePoint 2007 (their  feature sets are far too light). However, a free service such as Google docs is sufficient most of the time, and it is what we use at Prescient.

Intranet 2.0 or Enterprise 2.0
– as I point out in my column Social intranet vs intranet 2.0, and the end user comments, these terms are vague at best. Especially Enterprise 2.0 which is the most vague of them all in use (though likely not intended to be so misused by its father, Andrew Mcafee) and used as a catch-all term for everything under the sun, but is mostly focused on EXTERNAL use of social media (although Mcafee probably didn’t intend this, though most of his recent presentation that I caught was mostly externally focused). Just look at the Boston E2.0 conference, and the program agenda. Intranet 2.0 is specific to the intranet, and therefore is a far better, or less vague definition describing the use of social media tools by employees, behind the firewall.

Process – Intranet 2.0 needs process and procedures. Moreover, it requires change management. The success of intranet 2.0 has more to do with the latter, change management (not technology). If you build it they will not come… necessarily. Most employees haven’t heard of a wiki so why would they use one? Employees need to be educated, sold, and cajoled to use these tools initially until they become a repetitive action that is part of the culture.

5 steps for intranet 2.0 change management planning:

  1. Intranet governance model (if you don’t have an explicit, documented governance model for the overall intranet, you’re going nowhere fast).
  2. Social media policy (who can do what, when, how, and the rules for doing so).
  3. Executive sponsorship (ensure you have a senior executive in your corner to help promote your new tools).
  4. Communications plan (promote these tools by email, newsletter, the intranet home page, and buzz marketing activities).
  5. Active conversations (lead and promote the conversation with topical posts (e.g. new blog post or wiki) that are well targeted and promoted to potential subject matter experts and keeners).

Intranet 2.0 tools require careful thought and planning; yes they’re easy to deploy, but they’re not easily adopted without the requisite change management.

ADDITIONAL READING:

Social intranet vs intranet 2.0

The social intranet (DOWNLOAD THE FREE WHITE PAPER)

Taxonomy driven folksonomy

Social business is nothing new

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1 Comment

  1. Delmer Klepacz

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