What intranet tribe are you? #e20 #intranet #sharepoint

I’m wondering if you’ve noticed this…

One way or another I’ve been involved with intranets for over a decade and I’ve seen some changes in that time. Back in the past the world of intranets was quite simply – generally speaking, you could divide the world into three intranet tribes: those that were run by IT, others by HR and most of the rest by corporate communications. Sure, there were always a few exceptions (like me).

But since then two significant things have happened:

  • SharePoint arrived; and
  • Enterprise Social Computing was definied… aka Enterprise 2.0.

Some people have migrated from the old world to the new world of Enterprise 2.0; but SharePoint – which is still closely associated with the old world – has also created a brand new tribe through the force of numbers, sucking in new people but also many intranet converts (forced or voluntary).

The problem is, I get the feeling that the new world of Enterprise 2.0, the spin-out tribe of SharePoint and already divided tribes of intranet aren’t really talking to each other. A good indicator of this divide is the conference circuit, but it is also evident on Twitter (for example, compare the conversations and people using #e20 to #intranet) and more broadly across the social Web.

However, is this a good thing or bad thing? From a knowledge management and innovation perspective I think it is a bad thing. Even for those people focused on ‘traditional’ intranets and SharePoint who say they are too busy with today to worry about the future, I think its pretty sad to hear endless conversations about the best place for the news link or if weather widgets are a good idea. We have over of decade of experience with intranets, collaboration etc, but continue to re-invent the wheel, when we could invest that time in what is happening next.

But what do you think? Where did you come from and what intranet tribe are you part of today?

Photo Source: UN Flags (CC: Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic)


One thought on “What intranet tribe are you? #e20 #intranet #sharepoint

  1. Would disagree with the comment on the early intranet tribes. Would suggest the early tribes came from either IT or a knowledge/Information background. Looking at where the new tribes are I see two disinct patterns. One is the ‘talking at you tribe’ – general intranets that are full of corporate comms and provide very little opportunity to engage or debate with the workforce. The second tribe are the ‘talking with you tribe’ – looking to build a platform around creating communities, networking, collaboration etc. Sharepoint may be used by IT to regain control of from some of these tribes but eventually they will release this – as they have done in the past. Traditional IT is about control and management of systems. The intranet platform, or whatever it is next called is about spotting, nuturing and replicating value to the business = something IT is just not skilled of doing, nor in fact should they be. ‘Too busy to worry about the future’ – suggests to me the typical danger we face and maybe the cause of many of our problems. Online generally we are to busy looking for the next ‘big thing’. We look for constant change. If we introduced something, then spend time working on enhancing and improving, we may start to satisfy the basic needs of the user which I still think the majority of intranets have not met – a decent search and good people finder.

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