The term ‘social intranet’ has become popular in recent times, and describes an intranet with social media tools — blogs, wikis, microblogs, comment functionality and more — embedded within the core intranet software platform.
However, before a social intranet can be successful, work must be done to enrich and develop a much more fundamental aspect of the intranet — the staff directory. This article explores the potential of the staff directory, the impact social networks on the Web are having on intranet design, the rise of ‘social search’, and examples of these concepts in play in businesses already.
The killer app
Typically, the staff (or corporate) directory is already one of the most vital and well-used utilities on an intranet. Finding out who to contact and how to contact them supersedes nearly every other intranet-based process or task that employees conduct on a day-to-day basis.
Typically, the staff directory is a highly popular intranet tool
With the increasingly powerful capabilities of modern intranet platforms, the staff directory is rapidly becoming not only the most-used utility on an intranet, but actually the very heart of the system. It’s the database and tool that all other features and functions are being tied to. Whether it’s core functionality such as business intelligence, data reporting and record keeping, or more social features such as collaborative project areas, blogging and more, the person or people using these systems, spaces and tools is becoming the focus.
No example illustrates this better than IDEO’s much-publicised and stunning entry in the 2009 Intranet Innovation Awards.
[August KM Column by Alex Manchester, read the full article]