Getting an internal Facebook (social network and group feature) is a standalone tool, it has nothing to do with the Intranet, does it?
Unless you can structure it yourself like Nathan Wallace did with a Confluence wiki…not sure if SocialText can achieve a similar thing, but I believe OpenText Social Media, Lotus Connections, Jive, Awareness, Traction, Telligent, Connectbeam, and more suites made of components rather than designed as an Intranet.
Getting an internal Facebook that is designed as an Intranet replacement is more like Intranet 2.0, and seems to be what ThoughtFarmer are doing.
I suppose the third category would be to alter your existing Intranet by mashing in these types of features.
The latest Neilsen report on the social intranet says a few interesting things on this point:
“It’s important to integrate social features with the main intranet to avoid burdening users with double work.”
“That said, several of our case studies successfully implemented a staged approach, initially separating social features from the main intranet because of their different design and feel. Eventually, these features should be integrated, ideally as part of a bigger project to redesign the entire portal.”
I guess the difference I’m making here is that these new social network/group tools are mainly about connecting and collaborating, whereas Intranets are usually about profile information on each unit, heavily used tools and links, and news from teams to the rest of the organisation.
In this sense it seems designed tools like Thoughfarmer are combing the best of both worlds:
Doing work/finding stuff
- individual connecting with the organisation
- individual sensemaking
- collaborate in groups
Company information, tools and news
- make a profile page for your team with links to lots of info and what you are about…and also news your team wants to share with the organisation
- find common tools and links (timesheets, repositories, etc…)
- a company homepage as the pivot point
This is taking us back to the true meaning of Intranet (via Matthew Hodgson), rather then the hijacked, vetted, static, one-to-many tool it became.
“Essentially, he observed that people were creating small websites inside their organisations to share knowledge and communicate information”
Matthew then explains it’s relationship with early KM efforts:
“…the idea that, much like print publishing, documents are worked on by individuals and then released to others once it is finished and officially approved. KM guru David Gurteen suggests that this “create and publish” behaviour is also likely to be the result of early knowledge management efforts to bring structure to information in the organisation and make it searchable and easily accessible to employees. Unfortunately, as Gurteen highlights, too often employees didn’t see any value in this for themselves and, as a result, such systems failed”
“The essence of this failure of early intranets to bring true communication value into an organisation and to its employees is perhaps bound with the lack of recognition and understanding of how knowledge is created and information is shared by people. It’s also the factor that underpins Web 2.0’s success where traditional intranets have tended to fail. That is, that information is shared through social networks, from person to person, and that there are a number of roles in that social exchange.”