Intranet 2.0 roles …

As social media tools seep through firewalls onto corporate intranets, roles and responsibilities for intranet up-keep change subtly … here’s my view of what those roles might look like on a social media powered intranet …

Intranet 2.0 responsibilities



  1. Can you explain a little more about the roles? Do you see both blobs in the same central team/department or are these spread around different business areas? Cheers.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Nic. One of the things that I see happening more and more in our organisation is that the formal ‘organisation structure’ is becoming less and less relevant in operational terms. It still has a relevance in terms of managing the ‘infrastructure’ of the business (i.e. making sure everyone has a line manager and objectives and regular 1:1s and is appraised etc.) but it seems less relevant when it comes to ‘doing’ stuff. Increasingly, communities are becoming the power-house for delivery (and change) – these are often ‘self-selecting’ in their membership – so quite informal – but can actually wield quite a lot of influence because they attract both the ‘knowledgeable’ and the ‘enthusiastic’.

    I think that ‘delivery’ of almost all of the activities described above is done best by a community rather than an organisational unit (possibly less so the more you move from left to right and I suspect the IT people would balk at the idea of ‘sharing’ responsibility for platform resilience!).

    However, we are seeing ownership for the ‘facilitation’ of these activities coming into a central team … if that makes sense (i.e. in our case Group Communications owns ‘policy’ but it is delivered through a community of people from across the business ‘facilitated’ by someone in Group Comms).

    I’m not sure if I’ve explained that very well … I must learn to write more succinctly!

  3. The positioning of content in the user domain makes sense (of course), and I get that content policing needs to be shared. How do you feel about meta data, that special content that allows things to be found?

    Traditional thinking: In a heirarchical Intranet, the information is structure according to topic and org. Users then work with a central group to select appropriate meta data tags to allow for easier searching. These meta data definitions are (presumeably) derived via formal process and managed in a central repository.

    Social networking thinking: The heirarchy and meta data remain. As users develop content, they also develop their own tags. This tagged content is displayed in a tag cloud on each page, just like a blog page (many blogs use this, see for an example). Imperfect, yes, but contributors get content organized the way they and their teams deem appropriate.

    The ‘sell’ to the enterprise is that this self-tagging would be in addition to structure meta data systems, not replace them.

    Am I on target with this?


  4. We are using taxonomy (the structure according to the organisation) and folksonomy (the structure according to the users) together. For example, in BTpedia when you publish an article you must add a ‘category’ from a list defined by us (this list is the top level of our corporate taxonomy), you can then add tags either from a list (based on the second level of our corporate taxonomy) or you can free-type your own tags. Any user can subsequently go in and add new tags to someone else’s article.

    This seems to provide a good balance for both ‘corporate’ search and ‘social’ search.


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