Portal Intranets vs. Knowledge Intranets

By Deane Barker on December 23, 2003

When is Web Content Management Right for an Intranet?: There’s a really nice distinction in the first paragraph of this article that I guess I’d never acknowledged before.

From a functional standpoint, intranets fall into a continuum. At one end, an intranet is a fully personalized, dynamic system, tightly connected to back-office applications — let’s call this a “portal-type intranet”. On the other end is a less dynamic intranet, with forms, directories, calendars and so on, but without access to company accounting systems, corporate performance reporting, inventory or personal data — we’ll call this a “knowledge-sharing intranet.”

For knowledge sharing, I’m getting more and more sold on the wiki concept. I’m setting up a wiki at work, and while I was a little nervous with the freewheeling wiki attitude at first, I’m becoming more and more comfortable with the “simplest thing that can work” lifestyle.