BT case study

10 differences between an intranet and digital workplace homepage

As intranet managers, from time-to-time we all do it, despite bearing the scars from the last time. We decide to re-launch our intranet homepage. A triumph of optimism over experience. We know we’ll get hate mail from users the day it launches no matter how good it actually is … but we just can’t help ourselves. And so it is now in BT. We’re full speed ahead on developing a new intranet homepage site which will be launched before Christmas.

I won’t bore you with all the gruesome detail, but when the idea was first conceived, it made me think about what needs to be different this time around from what we’ve previously offered up to BT employees. How does the homepage need to be different to support the BT Digital Workplace rather than the BT Intranet?

Knowing that no one reads blog posts anymore unless they are lists of no more than 10 items and include a big image … I offer you my illustrated-10-differences-between-an-intranet-and-digital-workplace-homepage-listicle-blog-post.

Evolution of the DW homepage

  1. My digital workplace homepage needs to be ‘useful to me’ rather than ‘good for me’ – by which I mean I get to decide much of what goes on the page rather than the company feeding me the stuff it thinks is good for me.
  2. The content on my new page needs to be dynamic, driven by my needs.
  3. We all need a bit of corporate news to feed our souls but, more importantly, we need information from our networks to feed our brains.
  4. For this site to work, the content can’t be dominated by one person – I need lots of information from lots of sources.
  5. I love reading, but I get paid to do stuff.
  6. The person charged with managing my new homepage should spend their time hunting out useful sources of information and offering them to me as feeds to which I can subscribe if I so choose.
  7. I choose … that is all!
  8. More people access the internet via smartphone than fixed line … the digital workplace will be no different.
  9. The digital workplace is an ever-changing and flexible ecosystem – my front door into it needs to be too.
  10. Sticking content in little boxes piled on top of one other so I can see them all at once creates a horrible mess and gives me a headache. Layer the content and let me choose the top content card at any given time.

Thanks for reading … now get back to work! 🙂


In conversation: social media and the BT Intranet

The second in the series of in conversations with Red Sky Vision – this time a short sound bite or two about why we introduced social media onto the BT Intranet (this one is much shorter … only 1 min 20 sec 🙂 ).

In conversation with Richard Dennison – Social Media and the BT Intranet from Red Sky Vision on Vimeo.

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Social media at work video

Last Friday, Red Sky Vision launched a video about social media at work. Amazingly, I was asked to be part of it! It’s very well produced and the key strength of it for me is that it’s not about hyping up social media and creating a frenzy. Rather, it’s a well-balanced and calm assessment of the issues and benefits of social media in work – with a particular focus on internal communications. It’s about 15 mins long – so grab a coffee and a chocolate biscuit and take 15!

As well as me, you’ll hear from the following:

Enjoy! I’d be interested to know what you think of it …

[If you can’t see the embedded video – you can watch it on the Red Sky Vision site]

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IntraTeam reminiscences …

I’ve been following the IntraTeam conference tweets and remembering last year’s event and wishing I was there this year … when I came across this video on YouTube – it’s an interview I gave after my presentation at last year’s event … not sure I’ve ever posted it here so thought I’d give it a belated airing.

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Musical chairs …

Wow … has it REALLY been that long since I last posted?? 😦

In my defence, we’ve just finished a high-stakes game of musical chairs in my bit of BT – when the music stopped, there were 25% fewer chairs to sit on and they were arranged in a different way.

I had to dust off my CV and have a job interview for the first time in more years than I care to mention … fortunately, I secured one of the new chairs upon which my butt is now firmly placed … to recover from the experience, I had to take two weeks off!

Anyway, I’m now responsible for managing a group of business partners in a channels centre of excellence team providing channels expertise to the communications community in BT.

The major downside to this is that I’m having to hand over all my lovely social media toys to Mark Morrell, the BT Intranet Manager 😦 I’m sure he’ll love and nurture them as if they were his own … and if not, I’ll be waiting for him in a dark alley one night when he least expects it!

Although I no longer have the luxury of majoring on social media in BT, I am still very involved … we’re actually doing some really interesting pilots engaging with our customers in on-line forums … and Twitter is also on the radar screen which is really exciting.

In recent weeks, there has been a huge amount of interest in engaging with customers and stakeholders externally in social channels from different bits of the company … we’re taking it slowly and not biting off more then we can chew. The great thing about this enthusiasm is that it’s coming from unexpected quarters and from people who seem to get it. I’m optimistic that we are doing, or plan to do, the right things … time will tell.

Anyway, one of my final parting shots as social-media-guy was to re-write our social media guidelines. If you’re interested, take a look (downloads a PDF file; some of the links in it pointing to BT Intranet pages obviously won’t work).

I plan to keep blogging … if you can call my poor performance over recent weeks blogging! Must do better …

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IntraTeam conference

A couple of weeks ago I spoke at the IntraTeam event in Copenhagen which was an excellent event in every way … a gave a short video interview after my presentation and did an interview for the funniest man on the event circuit, Steve Crescenzo.

I’m taking a break now from conference speaking until I have some fresh material to share.