Behind the something* door

Intranet surveys are twice as interesting as web site surveys, because intranets are hidden from outsiders. Web sites are public, intranets are private.

The 2006 Global Intranet Survey Report from Jane McConnell is especially welcome for that reason. (The report came out in October, but hey, Contented is only a couple of weeks old.) It surveys intranets of 101 organisations, mainly international, ranging from under 5000 to over 100,000 employees.

Here's a quote: 'The intranet or what some call "the organisational lifeline" is at a key turning point for the majority of organisations.'

The report is illustrated with heaps of excellent graphs and pie-charts, and findings are clearly summarised. I'll mention a few that directly affect content writers.

Unaware of just how essential the intranet is for everyday business, senior management seems to be out of whack with most employees. This distorted perception inevitably cramps budgets, slows decision making, and tunnels vision.

The old intranet concentrated on communicating content one way, from the top down. The old intranet was somewhat static, and lacked integrated applications.

But now intranet 2.0 is upon us. The most forward-thinking organisations actively promote the use of wikis and blogs within the intranet. Smart organisations increasingly use the intranet as a channel for collaboration and two-way discussion of new ideas, new projects, and new content on the intranet.

Also relevant to content writers is the trend towards feeds to PDAs and other hand-held devices. All online content should be concise: when pumped to Palms and Blackberries and mobile phones, that content must be minimalist in the extreme.

Read summary of Global Intranet Strategies Survey
Ask Jane for the free Global Intranet Survey Report

*Help me out here please. Mahogany? Corporate?


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