≡ Menu

is social media killing the blogs?

Yes its true, people are now posting twitts, updates and plusdates instead of blogs.
There are many benefits for that, to name a few will be the direct association to your profile and the exposure to your followers.
2 years back you would put your pot up in your blog and link from all the social networks to it.
Then came Facebook and added the message you are leaving Facebook when clicking on this link. making you feel all sceptic over the action whilst at the same time boasting that Facebook is a safe place (duloc is a perfect place!!)

Now that is just silly since Facebook is sure not perfect and certainly not safe.
In cam Twitter with the link shortening and again suggested they are great at making it a safer place to be in.
Making you want to stay there longer.
And that is what it is all about. the perception of safety is what leads us as we hear of people infected with nasty viruses. people wish to avoid pain (pleasure principle, Freud) and the comfort and safety they feel inside the networks is what leads them to believe it is OK and that their kids can roam there with no issues.
Is this true? i highly doubt it but TV is not safe either and its all just a small reflection of reality.
But why this started affecting the blogs?
I am not sure, might be that time diminished when we started interacting with the social networks, might be that it’s becoming too easy to use tools like tumbler to just shoot the small segments of content up the cloud and it requires no hosting/payment/maintenance/backup/plugins/themes reducing complexity and creativity.
I am not sure. but i can clearly see that people around me are less posting in blogs they own. hey even me… :)
What do you think?

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Yuval Ararat

Switch that cms.

Companies wish to refresh their CMS implementations from time to time, that is natural and that is the evolution of the Internet, disguised as a revolutionary organisational change. Some companies who have not followed the product versions they are on, due to varios not fully understood reasons, face a big hurdle when they try to tackle a refresh 5 years after the implementation was complete.
Companies at that stage look for the upgrade path and find that its not as simple as they might think, products have dramatically changed, API and development need to be done from scratch or minimal reuse and IT will need to redesign implementation and plugins from webservers.
These hurdles usually direct those companies to a path examining other products, which in turn makes the current product look really bad when compared to the modern competitors.
When comparing the content editing interfaces of few years back you see that Internet evolution has not ceased and the new interfaces are slick, quick and easy to use.
To change your CMS you need to go through a very elaborate process, you need to remodel your data, refresh your site, rebuild your CMS data structure and content interfaces. You will need to bring the old data through from your old CMS through some sort of migration and while your at it why not get social media integration and some internal integrations that you always wished you have done.
But just like renovating a house, the problem with projects like this are the complexity and dependency between the sub projects and the unknown factor.
Your data migration depends on your data remodeling and that requires your wireframes and content strategy to be designed first making the migration design fase delayed. You want to integrate to the companies internal SAP product availability but require the catalogues to be migrated and these are delayed from the wireframe and content remodelling activities.
You get the point.
Every change in every project carries changes in the other projects and simple changes to one project can be cumbersome to others.
So why not spread it around?
Start from your new CMS and build up, stage by stage. Solidify one and get the next on top.
You cant paint the walls before you plaster them and you cant plaster them before the frame.
So my advice will be to set your expectations as follows, expect to have the site working before you get your data migrated and before the integration points are working.
Make the work a step ladder and climb only when you feel secure the other step will hold.
But you might state that this will create problems when you identify changes that are needed in the step under you.
This is true that it could take more to fix. But there is a benefit in loosing so many management and layers to figure out the same and coordinate that Change earlier in the process.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Yuval Ararat

Is google+ trying to replace facebook/twitter?

What is Google+ for? are we just seeing another social network?
Is this well designed interface aims to be the next Facebook?
My take on it is that it might do that, it might replace our social networks, but its not aiming to do so.
The evidence i find to back this up are spread everywhere.
From the navigation bar at the top where there is a list of all the applications you are registered to use and through the rest of the user management.
It seems google is taking the project as it took buzz and wave. its an extension of your google set of tools.
Google is not introducing the business clients of theirs to Google+ is a bit of a giveaway on the long term plan, businesses have been always introduced to the products in a much later stage. Google Doc’s was not a business product prior to it been exposed to the public.
The need to have a real name and not a business entity also point to the fact that businesses will need to pay to get in and they will get a very good package i assume for that price.
I dont totally agree with Matthew Ingram’s point of view oh having hurt the google plus for business, since business will come where the users are the damage is less then minimal.
So what is this google + good for.
Everyone saw this movie about the circles

It makes allot of sense to have this Circle level of separation but that is not what G+ is good for. (yes G+ is the best shortcut we have)
The functionality i see is going to be huge in so many places.
Lets take a scenario, in australia there are home tutored kids who live in remote places and do not go to school. well now they can go to school and be in class and participate and learn how to communicate with others using the hangout. they have to answer questions infront of other kids and be capable of attending the class.
This is just one scenario that is capable of encompassing huge space of remote education.
Another scenario is a workplace scenario, this is where you have circles for groups or divisions that you get assigned to. you can hangout with the group to have meetings or just as a development team spread around the globe. you get announcements from the circles that you are associated to. and your documents are based on the ones available to the circles you are associated to.
You can still have your own circles and friends from outside work.
Startups can harness this and even start spreading across the globe due to the fact that they can all sit in the same room and work togeter, having a circle replace their email correspondence and google docs replace their document sharing software. they can have their source and bugs in clouds but these are not related to google yet.
another scenario is the family across the country/globe that has its holidays and weekly chats done in a hangout and share photos and documents through the circle. also they can announce things out to the family without the fear of leaking to other peoples stream.

I see allot of value in the G+ personal, business and communication wise. for me its been twitter on steroids and i cant wait until news agencies will start pushing news through the streams.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Yuval Ararat

The first 24h with Galaxy S II/2

This is a report of my first 24hrs with the Samsung Galaxy S2. i have moved to it from the iPhone 4 yesterday.
My first impression from its build quality was that it is a sturdy phone and a nice hardware to hold, yes apple fans nicer to hold then the iPhone 4.
It does not feel like a huge phone and you dont feel the difference until you put the phone next to the iphone.
It’s screen is nicer and brighter.
The software is less intuitive, and this is the biggest complaint i have about android OS, you have 2 panels to hold your applications and they are both kinda confusing, there is no task management that is so intuitive as the iOS double button.
i can go on but i feel its useless and was done so many times.
The phone is crisp and quick as should be expected. screen rotation and software rendering is quick and nice and it all works great.
Things that are big issues to me are the Wireless and the Bluetooth.
Wireless is just a joke. i have 3-4 bars sitting on the router, a room next i get 1-2 and less then 10m its out of reception. iphone/ipad/laptop go to the other side of the house or about 15m away no problem. sorry but this does not count as wireless. oh and i am not the only one complaining about it, got a few more in the brotherhood.
Bluetooth is also an issue, i connect it to the TRX speaker system at home and it just stops working after 5-10 minutes but does not disconnect. The issue is that it wont go out of the connection and keep playing on the internal speaker, it thinks it is connected and you need to disconnect and then reconnect. only if you leave the bluetooth zone you get the phone to disconnect and resume play on the internal speaker.
I hope that samsung will be able to change some software to solve the wireless issues or else this phone success will be trumped quickly.
As for the move from iOS to Android. i will give it a few more days and put my thoughts on this blog.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Yuval Ararat
{ 1 comment }

Google+ 2 thumbs up

Google has released to the wild the Google+ sharing network, its invite states the following.

The Google+ project aims to make sharing on the web more like sharing in real life.
The easiest way to share some things with college buddies, others with your parents, and almost nothing with your boss.
Let friends know you’re free for a video hangout, any time, anywhere. Then catch up, watch YouTube, or… just hangout.
A feed of just the stuff you’re really into, so when you’re free, there’s always something waiting to be watched, read, or shared.

just by this description you get to the point where they hit the nail on the head. i want to be able to replicate social activities not see the farmville score of all my social acquaintance.
Circles are great and hangouts with video chat is super awesome.
I am still not quite sure how sparks differ from google reader/gmail type of filtering and grouping of information. will have to wait and see.
Here are some screenshots of the software.
So when you start the usage of the Google+ you discover that the bar at the top of google applications, all but gmail, changes to this

Yes! i am now Yuval+! wish i could get the twitter handle also :(. i love the color scheme and think it works well with the white background, its not innovative but will certainly do.
When you select your name + you get the profile screen to fill up

After you fill it up you can start browsing around and i started by looking at the lonely +1 i have ever clicked.
My Profile with the +1’s i have.

On the home page you see on the RHS 2 things you have to click, Hangout and feedback.

This is probably the coolest feature on the software, it has the potential to replace skype and other technologies even for office use.
You get to see me through the video yippee this is the Hangout console with only me in it. care to join?

These are the circles, they are the true value of this social system it lets you organise the crowds to the right place and keep them informed based on what they should be aware of.

Removing and adding people is intuitive and feels very good.
Just drag the person out of the circle and you are done.

You Are out of the circle buddy!
Adding is the same way and there are cool animations when you add the people to the circle.
Over all i think google have made a very good job in user interface and functionality to get me hooked. i hope i will not be lonely.
I am waiting on the android integration as the mobile site is a bit underpowered and requires me to use the website to do most of the work.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Yuval Ararat

My first howto in the OpenText world, after almost 4 years in the asylum. nice.
Social communities on the Website Management offers a great assortment of features that is enabling you to support User Generated content.
But the standard feature dont show you how you can integrate a comment section under your articles.
That is part due to the way this implementation came to be.
The core of this implementation is the Vignette Community Application, a stand alone interface to forums, blogs, wikis, ideas and media spaces. this core assumes the full functionality in a page and thus is not interfaced in a way that you easily figure out where are the components. Its sole brother (by core at least) is the Vignette Community Services which took the integration, rather then standalone, from his brother and is a set of components easily integrated into your environment.
Because both have the same core, the Social communities will support every call you can think off. that is the great news.
So how do you go about and create the comments region under the article of yours.
Lets start with the piping.
You will need to create HTTP connectors to the following XAPI calls:

  1. Create New Object
  2. Delete Objects

Before i will start with the code lets look at the way we will implement the creation of comments.
Assuming we want comments on pages in the CMS that have an ID, without it you cannot differentiate the pages, we will need to create a remote object to represent the page.
The remote object is capable of uniquely identifying the comments, the Remote object is the ID of the Comments parent in our case though it can be responsible to more.
We will start with creating a new HTTP connector for the creation of the remote object.
Create a new HTTP connector group for your site.
Click on Prepared Operations.
Then create a new operation using the star (Add a new data group) at the top left of the screen.
Give the group a name – “remoteobject.create”
add the URL postix – “CreateNewObject”
Method should be “Post”

Go to the Request Parameters and add the following.

  • extObjType
  • extObjRealm
  • extObjSystemType
  • extObjSystemID
  • extObjContext
  • extObjID
  • name
  • type

Do the same to the delete operation
Give the group a name – “remoteobject.delete”
add the URL postix – “DeleteObjects”
Method should be “Post”
In this case you only need to point the objectID (x.x.x) for it to be deleted.

Now we have the ability to create the basic item that is capable of holding comments, ratings etc.
This method will enable you to later expand with creation of comments and ratings on the remote object.
The best place to figure out the required parameters is in the developer guide for the Vignette Community Application and the XML API Documentation

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Yuval Ararat

Hype By Tumult Review

Just encountered the Hype HTML5 generator and looked a bit under the hood.
I am not interested in a review of the UI nor in a comparison to the Flash capabilities.
This is a review of the softwares output, the HTML5 or lack of it and the SEO and Templating issues i am observing.
I will start with the first thing that got my eye.
The source code is only 2 lines, the second line is a JavaScript include to the real software.
<div id="birthdayparty_hype_container" style="position:relative;overflow:hidden;width:1024px;height:690px;"> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://static.tumultco.com/hype/gallery/BirthdayParty/BirthdayParty_Resources/birthdayparty_hype_generated_script.js?93067"></script></div>
and this script include will not be indexed by the search server since it is a JavascriptInclude and not a link to HTML in a frame as you can see below:
now this is bad enough to get me to walk away from the product, but then i thought about all the minisites that live in the internet and have the merits due to the campaign they represent and not through keywords and search.
Well these draw their site content usually from CMS of some sort in most big organisations.
This is going to be a very hard task to endure here, there is too much wiring in the back to make this JavaScript something that came out of the CMS, wether its content alone or the whole file.
under var scenes there is the whole configuration of the scenes, DIV sections of the design, and they are in a complex array based on the ID later used in timeline and button behaviour. not something you wish to mess with as the DIV ids "D6D4872B-15A0-4AAC-BE1F-D19521BD7D6B-39296-0000A9020DBE91F3":
And this is the content/metadata of that id is represented in this lovely JSON.
{"PaddingTop":"8px","PaddingLeft":"8px","Position":"absolute","Width":"328px","PaddingRight":"8px","Left":"339px","Display":"inline" ,"Height":"294px","Opacity":"0.000000","Overflow":"visible","ZIndex":"12","Top":"249px","TextColor":"#000000","FontSize":"14px" ,"WhiteSpaceCollapsing":"preserve","WordWrap":"break-word","PaddingBottom":"8px","InnerHTML":"<div><b><font class=\"Apple-style-span\" face=\"TrebuchetMS, 'Lucida Grande', Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif\"><font class=\"Apple-style-span\" size=\"5\"><span class=\"Apple-style-span\" style=\"font-size: 18px;\">SUNDAY, MAY 15 @ 12:30</span></font></font></b></div><div><br></div><font class=\"Apple-style-span\" face=\"TrebuchetMS, 'Lucida Grande', Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif\">Please join us for an afternoon of wine tasting/consuming at Ridge Winery in the Cupertino Hills. I will provide picnic eats.</font><div><span class=\"Apple-style-span\" style=\"font-family: TrebuchetMS, 'Lucida Grande', Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif; \"><br></span></div><div><span class=\"Apple-style-span\" style=\"font-family: TrebuchetMS, 'Lucida Grande', Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif; \">Please drive carefully as the road becomes one lane as you get higher up the mountain, and there are usually bicyclists sharing the road. Also, be prepared for windier and chillier weather than in the Valley.</span></div><div><span class=\"Apple-style-span\" style=\"font-family: TrebuchetMS, 'Lucida Grande', Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif; \"><br></span></div><div><font class=\"Apple-style-span\" face=\"TrebuchetMS, 'Lucida Grande', Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif\">Please be mindful of your limit :)</font></div><div><font class=\"Apple-style-span\" face=\"TrebuchetMS, 'Lucida Grande', Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif\">&nbsp;</font></div><div><span class=\"Apple-style-span\" style=\"font-family: TrebuchetMS, 'Lucida Grande', Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif; \">If picnicing isn't enough for you, or if you're up for going all out, please join us for part 2 ...</span><br></div><div><span class=\"Apple-style-span\" style=\"font-family: TrebuchetMS, 'Lucida Grande', Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif; \"><br></span></div>","TagName":"div"}
This will in turn become a nested DIV inside a DIV carrying the ID
<div class="HYPE_element" id="D6D4872B-15A0-4AAC-BE1F-D19521BD7D6B-39296-0000A9020DBE91F3" style="top: 249px; left: 339px; width: 328px; height: 294px; padding: 8px; position: absolute; display: inline; opacity: 1; overflow: visible; z-index: 12; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-size: 14px; word-wrap: break-word; -moz-transition: opacity 0.5s ease-in-out 0s;"><div><b><font face="TrebuchetMS, 'Lucida Grande', Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif" class="Apple-style-span"><font size="5" class="Apple-style-span"><span style="font-size: 18px;" class="Apple-style-span">SUNDAY, MAY 15 @ 12:30</span></font></font></b></div><div><br></div><font face="TrebuchetMS, 'Lucida Grande', Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif" class="Apple-style-span">Please join us for an afternoon of wine tasting/consuming at Ridge Winery in the Cupertino Hills. I will provide picnic eats.</font><div><span style="font-family: TrebuchetMS, 'Lucida Grande', Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif; " class="Apple-style-span"><br></span></div><div><span style="font-family: TrebuchetMS, 'Lucida Grande', Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif; " class="Apple-style-span">Please drive carefully as the road becomes one lane as you get higher up the mountain, and there are usually bicyclists sharing the road. Also, be prepared for windier and chillier weather than in the Valley.</span></div><div><span style="font-family: TrebuchetMS, 'Lucida Grande', Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif; " class="Apple-style-span"><br></span></div><div><font face="TrebuchetMS, 'Lucida Grande', Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif" class="Apple-style-span">Please be mindful of your limit :)</font></div><div><font face="TrebuchetMS, 'Lucida Grande', Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif" class="Apple-style-span">&nbsp;</font></div><div><span style="font-family: TrebuchetMS, 'Lucida Grande', Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif; " class="Apple-style-span">If picnicing isn't enough for you, or if you're up for going all out, please join us for part 2 ...</span><br></div><div><span style="font-family: TrebuchetMS, 'Lucida Grande', Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif; " class="Apple-style-span"><br></span></div></div>
Beyond the cumbersome DIV structure and generation of code that will be improved in later versions as i trust it will the content is not suitable to be converted into the CMS of choice even if you wanted.
This tool at its current state generates a create and forget sites that are not HTML5 until you run the browser over and get the result rendered through the JavaScript engine.
Thus this tool is not really a HTML 5 UI editor but a Site Generator with the capability to get great flash like results in the best standard, well not yet standard, HTML5.
Its use cases are currently limited to the non SEO based sites and to replace the Flash based sites, though Flash does offer a better SEO integration, this could be also guessed by the lovely gallery that Tumult are offering for the product. All the sites are for simple scenarios where there is no content management intended, like the birthday example i am exploiting for code.
Hype is a great tool to be able to replace the Flash based websites and is aimed for the designers and UI specialists. it is not yet a mature product that is capable of generating real HTML5 pages to be later used in the process of templating a WCM and should not be used as such.
In my opinion this tool is for startups, i believe they should abuse this tool in creating online tutorials and demos of their software, it will make it awesome!

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Yuval Ararat

Enterprise 2.0 and Digital Curation

Large organisation adopting social mediums, who thrive while sharing before the social tools, tend to become avid representatives of the Enterprise 2.0 and social workplace, those companies usually harvest value out of the social workplace and introduction of a digital means to extend their natural work process.
One of the best example is Deloitte and the Yammer love affair, Accountancy consultants share information to survive, they are a co-organism that just got extended with the services of yammer.
Wouldn’t it be great if this was the case for any company? presenting the tools, educating the people and bang we hit the gold vein of the social workplace era.
Sadly this isn’t the case, we have to understand that we are not at the stage where companies are ruled by the social generation. Employees do not fully understand the value of information sharing, and in some cases regard information sharing as a loss of job security.
Pondering about this for a while i though, how can we then promote the use of the social workplace in organisations?
One of the methods is to expose the non users to the users, making the public know about the small groups of people who produce value from the social workplace.
There are probably multiple ways of doing so and i cant even imagine all of them but the one i think will create create value and help in exposing the network is Digital Curation.
Digital Curation is similar to the curation of the art in the museum, a selection of the best “Content”, based on predefined criteria representing the company business and culture, are selected and maintained in a shared location. These items are catalogued (Tags, Categories etc.) and indexed for quick find.
This curated content is transmitted through common medium in the organisation with the aim to expose and educate.
What i envision is the exposure of the company through email to a curated valuable set of snippets and links from the social workplace.
This will get some inquisitive people the small push to discover what was going on.
It will expose the tools without the fluff, only the stuff.
But most importantly it will give the value to the people and the best reaction can be a conversion due to a mishap, “If only i had this info yesterday” type. A person who relises the work related value of the Enterprise 2.0 is going to be hooked and become the best advocator.
This is not to replace an appropriate education to the system but more to enhance that with sharing the current experience on this new tool, teasing people to join the crowd.
If we can change the peoples perceived value of the new tool then it will get its proper place.
But this is the side benefit of curation, the main benefit is that curation will enable a timeline representation of the value from the network and will enable the curator to then report of the value increase or decrease as it appears in the network.
This monitoring of the social workplace and the deeper metrics it represent will enable a better monitoring on the networks value production.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Yuval Ararat
{ 1 comment }

Social Tools adoption in Enterprise 2.0

In response to Step Two Designs blog post by James Robertson.
After replying to the post as follows i have a few additions to the culture change and the tools.

James i completely agree with you on the subject, as Marcella stated “Tools are tools” and that is what they are designed to do, Server us.
As i have noticed, during the long hours of IBF24, we have a will to push the organisation forward using the intranet but have forgot to experiment.
The culture today is build build build and the expectation of most of the organisations is to get results by what they envision will be the correct tool.
I disagree, pushing tools as experiments rather then de-facto new standard is a missing link in the chain. some organisations will generate value out a tool like yammer and some not. some need a good set of wikie’s and some can do like IKEA and only use it for the internal company jargon.
But how can you tell if a new technology will solve a problem that might not even exist?
I Like Richards idea of bottom-up social activity without top-down, if you give the people the ability to put social tools and let them push it a bit to see the traction they get, when they are adopted widely you need to integrate them to the fabric. this approach will be similar to the natural approach you have in business, from many startups only a few mature to big businesses.

Jams has responded with the following

@Yuval, truth be told, I get frustrated constant “pilots” of tools like Yammer, blogs and wikis. There’s a difference between true experimentation, and deployments that little-or-no chance of success. Harsh words I know! But there’s plenty of experience to draw on now about how to be successful at these things, so I’m saddened by organisations repeating the same mistakes over and over again…

The idea behing bottom up is less an experiment but more of a culture change driven from the employee’s rather then the governing the solution. the worst kind of governing is the one you describe, the constant pilot with no end in sight, this situation is inacceptable regardless of the amount of information available.
The culture of an organisation is usually set and alive, it will be a hard task to just suggest a new behaviour and make it the new culture, no prise in the world ever made that change happen.
The best solution is, in my opinion, to enable the employees to choose solutions and implement them in their department, set a time and goal to get this done and used and from there suggest it to the rest of the organisation if this was successful. if this never clicked you can trash it with minimal organisational noise and minimal implementation.
The selection should be guided by management as a controlling entity in the process and not as a deciding entity thus enabling the employees to choose and commit to the solution.
A solution choice should make sense, and by sense i mean be selected based on more the just features. a selection of a tool should be based on its implementations. lessons are important to explore but they also dont necessarily paint the right picture of the product as it has 2 sides to that tango.

On the other side of the trench (the far side) you will have the dropped solution.
When employee get dropped a social network or a social workspace and told “use this” you will get varying results with many projects going astray. so we know that this develops antagonism and under utilisation, unless the product meets the needs and culture of the company and it then turns to success.

To sum the whole thing up
You can’t change corporate culture using social tools but you can give tools aiding the corporate culture and business.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Yuval Ararat

Great Intranets

After a day in ibf24 from ibf I was chugging along until Jonathan Phillips contacted me through Twitter. we had a nice discussion about the implementation of intranets, is the budget the main factor in determining if the project will be a success or are there more factors.

My take was that it is not just budget; although budget does set the tone and can influence the size it is still not the deciding factor. You can do amazing things on the smallest budget if you keep the focus of the goals and implement them rigorously, for example i will take WWF intranet, which is a combination of Google Apps and a CMS.

During the 24 hrs which i partaken in only a few (10) of them we were exposed to many intranets of organisations, it was like having a door open to the heart of other organisations and check to see how they are doing things. the good thing about this was you got to see some shoe string operations with amazing implementations when it comes to the adaptability of the intranet to the users and some major brands with intranets that seem to be inactive or lonely.

During our discussion Jonathan also pointed me to his blogpost describing the characteristic of a successful intranet and asked me to respond.

This is my response to Jonathan’s post.

I will start with the definition of Great, i believe it lacks the context and thus encompasses things that are cultural and things that are technological.
Important and significant is only a valid point if the intranet is doing its job in delivering the content in a manner that is useful and engaging. When this happens you get a site that is important and significant to the company, only if users use it it is important and this is a product not a goal.

This logic applies to Wonderful, First Rate, very good, remarkable and consequential, this is not something you can target when implementing a service nor when maintaining it. It could be of extraordinary powers, very admirable, unusual and considerable in degree, power, intensity. these things can be planed but usually cost much if the system we are replacing is great and likeable.

For references I will list the Characteristics Jonathan pointed
1. An open, multi-way communication vehicle: Top Down, Bottom Up, Peer-to-Peer
2. A facilitator of enterprise collaboration
3. An executor of business transactions
4. A tool that positively impacts every job in your company
5. A gateway to business knowledge
6. A digital reflection of the values of the company
7. Serves to build enterprise community
8. Transparent governance, management and strategy
9. An engaging space
10. Available where your employees need it
I agree with all of the other items, they are the corner stone of the intranet in my opinion, but the one thing i want to talk about here is how do you achieve this.

There is an illusion that all these characteristics relate to a single entity and thus translate this to a single product to solve the problem.

This is nice if you have a very limited team with a non-diverse need. If that is the case you can probably suffice with a good WordPress implementation and be done with it.

Most cases are not this easy and require a more complex environment to facilitate the users needs.

The question is of how we assemble this ménage of solutions? Do we turn to an all encompassing solution that has the potential to flop and make the whole intranet look like a joke? do we assemble it with products?
Who makes the decision of what product to implement and how do we know which one is the best for our users?
In my experience, the implementations I have found to be most successful were experiments in their youth. They were implemented from a need of a certain group and then spread to the organisation.
I also like to look at the economy of products in the organisation, much like a startup some products in the intranet get a lot of traction and some don’t. this economy environment lets you choose the solutions that match the crowd.
As oppose to core solutions that are there for a predefined business process our intranet is a service for the users in order to get the core business process done more effectively.
Since these are not mandatory system and they come to support the processes we have the privilege of experimenting and failing, the experiments should be like little staretups in the intranet, if they get to pitch and show value they stay if they don’t they go.
The merit of a solutions value should be based on the “Value to the user”/Cost if it is greater then 1 we are winning if it is smaller we are losing. in my personal opinion 1 is a great equilibrium for some applications.
The process i am suggesting is this:
1. Check to see what groups are using today and figure out if they are pleased or not. there could be some wiki’s and other tools lurking in the groups.
2. Let the groups experiment with the tools on the market and choose the ones to be tested.
3. Put analytic tools on the solutions tested to get the usage and let the users start working with the tools.
4. Check after a period of time what tools were used most.
5. Check to see how they helped and if they stand the merit of exposure to the whole intranet.
6. If they do seem like a good candidate to solve an unsolved problem in the organisation merge them into the intranet.
7. Check the value, rinse and repeat
This way like Lego blocks you will pick the matching tools for your people and not force them to use the technology that looked cool in the sales pitch.
if the tools are SaaS, like Yammer, then use them yourself and try to get people to send emails to you with the success stories from those tools.

On another note, this method holds some problems in it that will be present whenever we dont go with the single entity approach, it lacks the integration between solutions. this is the one thing that is a requirement on the developers to tailor the integration and find the solution for interoperability when there is no standard available.
This will be the biggest hurdle but it is still not as big as picking the wrong software for your users, some of the SaaS give a great solution as they integrate to the dashboard’s and websites easily.

Oh just something from the ibf24 twitter feed, intranet in 3 months is not a valid response, 3 months for the WCM might be ok but development of the product does not stop here.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Yuval Ararat