March 9, 2006
Bringing Web 2.0 to the Intranet
Last night, Kevin Kearney, Experience Lead at Avenue A | Razorfish spoke to the Philadelphia chapter of the SLA on “User-Contributed Content in Corporate Knowledge Sharing.” He opened with the idea that,
“The gap between internal systems and the best of the public web is ever-widening.”
His talk focused on the use of blogs, wikis, social networking, and tags within the corporation. In addition to rapidfire explanations of the myriad of Web 2.0 technologies, there were plenty of good tips for implementing them internally. Here are some ideas and pointers I picked up:
- Blogs — provide incentive for employees to participate, contributions need to be valued by the organization. Additionally, make is ridiculously simple for individuals to contribute.
- Wikis — wikis can easily wind up disorganized and many implementations are over-reliant on search. Appoint a centralized editor who is responsible for the organization and structure of the wiki. (And my advice, choose your wiki software very carefully.)
- Social Networking — increasing transparency of employee achievement through internal social networking tools can serve as a motivational tool.
- Tags — make sure to present your tags in a creative fashion (e.g. tag clouds, clusters, or other information visualization methods). Unweighted, alphabetical lists are not very usable.
The frustrating thing about Web 2.0 is it’s breadth, especially when explaining it from scratch. It’s a challenge to cover the basics and also dig into the application and issues. Kevin’s presentation did a good job balancing the two in about ninety minutes.
Looking for additional information I found that coverage of this subject seems to be a little sparse for now. I did manage to find a few items:
- The Web 2.0 category at the Intranet Blog
- InfoWorld: Blogging behind the firewall — “…we’re beginning to see more tangible benefits as we’ve begun to reach a critical mass of internal contributors.”
- Bootstrapping a Corporate Wiki — “Flurries of emails and shared, rapidly evolving, documentation is the norm. This work is now being co-ordinated through the Wiki environment.”
- Social Bookmarking in the Enterprise — “…at IBM we are designing and developing an enterprise-scale social bookmarking system called dogear. The rest of this article describes the design challenges and early lessons learned from a friendly trial of the technology.” (via Information Management Now)