Summary of Euan Semple's keynote at CongresIntranet 2013

By Bas Zurburg at 19. March 2013 16:38 in intranet


After the kickoff by Samuel Driessen (@driessen) the first keynote was from Euan Semple (@euan)

The Future Proof Intranet, business as usual?

- Euan was inspired by what employees were doing in the evenings on the internet on bulletin boards.

- Spent £200 on a bulletin board for 25.000 people

- Bring outside tools into the organisation

- But worries about facebook in the organisation (because you don't own the content)


New project: A SharePoint Intranet - where to start?

By Bas Zurburg at 7. March 2011 02:00 in Collaboration, Content, intranet, SharePoint, Social Media

In a previous post I argued to call the intranet not the 'intranet' anymore.SharePoint for the intranet The reason is that the 'Intranet' is not always taken seriously, mainly because of an often unsuccessful history or a strategy that is not in line with the IT vision. Last week I was reminded to this when I visited a company where the IT department has a decisive vote on the tools that are used within the organization.


IT in charge of budget and tools to use

The current intranet is built with a CMS that has poor 'social' capabilities (This CMS is actually better suited for marketing websites) The IT department is not in favor of bringing in other applications to add some social features to the intranet. And they have a good point. Instead they say: "Use SharePoint". My advice: Go for it!

(Apparently there is plenty of budget for some tools when it comes from IT)


The Status of the Intranet in the Organisation

By Bas Zurburg at 8. November 2010 03:00 in intranet

intranet comeptitionThere are many articles on the web talking about the stages of the intranet or the future of intranets.

These articles often forecast the intranet as a business tool, or they predict the adoption of social tools to empower the employees.

These are all very useful post and I agree with most of them. But these articles show the status of the intranet from its own perspective. They don't tell much about the status of the intranet in the organisation or the relationship it has with other applications.


Creating the Intranet Search Experience

By Bas Zurburg at 20. September 2010 03:00 in Content, intranet, Search

There are many ways to get to content on the intranet: navigation, cross links, tags, via employee profiles and... search.

Create the search experience in the intranetMost of us use Google to search on the internet and we are quite happy with the returned results. But often we are not so happy with the search in the intranet.

Intranet search is still a feature that leaves a lot to be desired in many organisations.

This article contains some lessons I learned implementing search in an intranet with the Google Search Appliance1 and how to prepare the intranet content for it. There are also many tips you can use without the GSA. We took search serious and it turned into a mini project next to delivering the intranet.

Do we need search?

Gerry McGovern2 says "I only use search when I can't navigate". I agree that the site navigation is the primary way to get to desired content. However search can be very useful to search in archives, in documents or other content that is not so obvious to place in the navigation. And some people just simply prefer search!

With the rise of social elements in the intranet, the intranet can become a mash up of different integrated systems. There is still the traditional content management system, but also applications for the wiki, the blogs or microblogging. A good intranet has one search feature that returns relevant results of all integrated platforms.


Open Communication Scepticism and Fears

By Bas Zurburg at 9. September 2010 03:00 in intranet, Management, Microblogging, Social Media

Ooh no, we're not ready for it. We have serious business to run.

Implementing open communication in the enterprise is a challenge. And for a good reason. It can impact the way you do business.

The masters voiceThere are many arguments that can be thrown on the table against social media initiatives inside the organisation. People can become very creative when thinking of reasons to reject open communication in the organisation.

Most of these risks are based on fear. Command and Control (Top-down) management structures are often also based on fear. (But that seems okay as many countries follow the same strategy with success.)

These risks are serious concerns for decision makers and should therefore be managed carefully.


12 More Things To Do With Microblogging

By Bas Zurburg at 25. August 2010 02:00 in intranet

This is a little follow up on an earlier post where I advocated Microblogging as a tool to open up the internal communication in the enterprise.

This article lists some usage examples for microblogging.

12 things more to do with micro blogging1. Share news

You can send news items or reminders quickly, there is no need to post them on the intranet or use email. You can attach a link to an article on the intranet to a document, a photo or an external link. All topics are OK: News, information about new products or services, industry (competition) news, Internal marketing and many more.

2. Survey the opinion of employees

It is easy to set up a quick poll with microblogging. Ask a question (with an identifying hashtag) and wait for the votes to come in.


Open Communication in the Enterprise

By Bas Zurburg at 16. August 2010 01:00 in intranet, Social Media

Give employees a voice

Many organisations already have successfully implemented open communication or social tools in their intranet. Others are still hesitating because of various reasons like e.g. strategy, culture, technology or lack of recognition of the benefits.

The society has changed, organisations are now seeking for other ways to communicate with external customers. When will organisations themselves change? Recently I looked at Microblogging as an instrument to open up internal communication in the enterprise. In this post I elaborate on the impact it can have for the organisation and its employees.

senateOpen Communication?

Come on, we are an open organisation


In this article I refer to communication that is interactive and between people:

Person A sends a message to person B. Person B receives the message, reads it, understands it, thinks about it and replies with a message back. Other forms are just sending information.

In traditional 'corporate communication' the focus is on sending information. This is usually done by email, a message on the intranet or a corporate newsletter. There is one limitation with this approach: The sender does not know if the message is received, read or understood as it was originally intended.


What is served for lunch this week?

By Bas Zurburg at 12. August 2010 16:45 in Design, intranet

There is an interesting discussion going on about the intranet homepage. Should it scroll or not scroll?

See the latest article from Step Two Design by James Robertson. The article refers to more posts:

Discussing the length of the intranet homepage

weekly menuIt is interesting, because many people have opinions about it. (I personally don't mind, I like both. And I like a lot of white space in it)

But I don't really understand the discussion. For me as an employee, I am mostly interested in what the company restaurant serves for lunch. I don't mind clicking 4 times or scroll 3 pages down to find the menu. I just want to know.

If there is content of interest on the intranet, it doesn't matter where it is, it will be visited.

The same is true for a website, a web-application or a desktop-application. When there is something that I want to know or need to do, I go there.

Also in real life. Normally I take the shortest route from work to home and do shopping on the way. But when I need something that is not available there, I just drive to the shop where they do sell it. Yep, it could take me some extra time.

I don't believe that the length of the homepage is an important factor for a successful intranet. Some intranet homepages fit on one page, others not. Basta! There is simply no 'one size fits all' for intranets.

This was my little rant about the discussion ;-)

Intranet Case Studies and other Resources

By Bas Zurburg at 6. August 2010 19:34 in intranet

intranet case studiesIntranets 'live' by definition in closed networks. We don't know how other intranets look like, what the features are or what the success factors are. But we're very curious...


Stephan Schillerwein has on his website "Intranet Matters" a great compilation of very good intranet case studies.


Also Elizabeth Lupfer has collected a useful list of case studies at SocialMediaToday:

Extensive List of over 30 Enterprise 2.0 Case Studies and Reports


For intranet case studies and Live Tours, IBF has opened its archives with presentations of the IBF24 event that took place in June 2010:

IBF 24, you can now start catching up on what you missed


Somewhat different, but the videos of IntraTeam (Kurt Kragh Sørensen) are very interesting. The site is in Danish, but some parts are also translated in English and the videos are mostly in English. The video archive contains interviews of intranet professionals amongst others: Martin White, Jane McConnell and James Robertson:

Indhold tagget med: Billeder & Video


Do you know another good resource with with intranet case studies, please use the comment area or you can let me know via the contact form (thanks!).

The intranet: a happiness station

By Bas Zurburg at 6. July 2010 06:00 in intranet, Management, Social Media

The intranet does not have to be fun to make employees happy

This is another article in which I try to create adoption and acceptance for the intranet in the organisation. I will take another angle and look at what motivates employees and what role the intranet can play to create happy employees. I believe we all agree that organisations need happy employees to be successful. It is another way of identifying good content for the intranet.

How employees are motivated

Intranet happiness station

After research on the Internet I learned that there are many theories on how to motivate employees. I definitely do not want to interfere with these discussions, but for this article I selected these four general more or less accepted motivators:

  • Money - simply put: employees expect a fair financial compensation for their effort
  • Creativity - We are all unique human beings and we all want to put our personality and ideas into our work 
  • Recognition - A shoulder tap is in many situations more worth than a financial raise / bonus
  • Future - is the job secure, what are the options to grow in the organisation 


Let's apply these to the intranet. 


The reward that is paid and everything else that is related to money: compensation, bonuses, expenses, employee benefits and promotions


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