Intranet Design Annual 2007 from the Nielsen Norman Group contains this startling statement:
Intranets are definitely getting bigger. Across the first three Design Annuals (2001-2003), the average intranet contained 200,000 pages; across the three most recent Annuals (2005-2007), the average intranet contained 6 million pages.
The 10 best intranets of 2007 trained their content contributors of course: you can't win this contest with garbage content. But how do you train that many content contributors? Answer: with Contented.
Content Contributor Training: Increasingly, companies not only encourage content contributions, but also make it incredibly easy for people to post content. To that end, companies provide content training for new contributors, ongoing instruction, and simple interfaces so users can post and edit with minimal training.
It strikes me that the Web 2.0 phenomenon includes the publishing tools associated with content management systems and learning management systems. They're up there with the other social software tools. Just like blogs, podcasts, social bookmarking sites, social networks, wikis, games and widgets, the templates used by the winning intranets promote collaboration, involvement, and decentralisation of authority. The job of writing and publishing online content is now shared by many staff, and central control of content has largely been relinquished.
How could it be otherwise, when the 'average'* intranet has 6 million pages?
* Average among the intranets that made it on to the Nielsen Norman top ten in 2007.