Six ideas for social media on your intranet

Published by Richard Hare on

Last month’s Social Media Forum sent my mind into overdrive with possibilities. Here are a few ideas I’ve been thinking about, some older than others..!

1. Internal blogging
Been doing this for nearly two years now and it’s gaining ground.

You’ll need to invest time and effort to find the right technology, but don’t go for the big bang approach, trying to establish ROI and launching with a huge fanfare.

Take the under-the-radar route, recruit some committed writers, build up a body of posts and let the buzz spread. It will.

2. RSS
I suggested adding RSS feeds to our content management tool last year.

“We can do that easily,” replied a colleague, before not doing it.

RSS is now a standard feature on the leading web browsers – if you aren’t using it internally, you’re behind the curve!

3. Twitter
I must’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, but I admit I hadn’t heard about Twitter until Neville Hobson mentioned it at the forum. The more I think about it, the more it occurs to me it might actually be more useful inside your organisation.

Integrate it with your Who’s Who and instant messenger applications. Now you can let everyone know where you are and what you are doing.

This is a good thing. You no longer have to update your voicemail message every day – simply refer all callers to your internal-twitter-application. Bonus: external callers can no longer find out when you’re away on holiday.

4. Turn your who’s who into a social networking tool
Another idea at least a year old, I was heartened to hear John Hobday of The Linde Group suggesting the same idea in his forum presentation. My original suggestion was met with “But it won’t do anything more than reflect existing social networks” from another colleague. I never suggested it would, simply that it can help make implicit links explicit.

Remember: most people make negative comments on your ideas in an effort to sound insightful. Ignore them. Look for people who build on your ideas with their own suggestions and recruit them to your projects.

5. AJAX widgets and content rating
It doesn’t really matter what AJAX stands for, they’re those clever little stars on web pages which allow you to rate content without pressing a submit button. Allow your users to rate content and display the results. You’ll find out who the most trusted content authors are.

6. Social Bookmarking
Something I hadn’t properly got to grips with until recently, sites like del.icio.us allow you to share bookmarks with others, to track the popularilty of pages and sites and to form networks with other people.

The idea is simple, the benefits become more apparent the more you use it. The first project team who adopt it together could benefit hugely.

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