Essential Intranets

By Deane Barker on October 23, 2013

Essential-Intranets-250tI spent last week traveling and reading “Essential Intranets” by James Robertson.  I love this book.  Here’s why —

You may not realize this, but finding out what other people do on their intranets is hard. Intranets are — by definition — internal to a company.

We’ve found so much ignorance in the industry of what’s possible.  And I don’t mean “ignorance” pejoratively, like “stupidity.”  Rather, I mean it like “I can’t see what anyone else is doing, so I just don’t know…”

So many people working on their company intranet just don’t know what’s possible.  They don’t have any exposure to other intranet managers or intranet communities (of which there are many), so they just continue what they’re doing and hope they’re doing the right things.  But, in the back of their minds, they’re thinking “I’m pretty sure this is wrong.”

Get this book.  This book is a glorious elucidation of what’s possible.  It’s in a great format — one page of discussion about a particular feature of an intranet, and then one page of screencaps showing that actual feature in action on someone’s intranet.

(Note: The book is worth its cover price for the screencaps alone.  Yes, you can actually see what other people are doing on their intranets. The collection of all of those screencaps in one place is God’s gift to you, the intranet manager.)

If you’re an intranet manager, and you’re sitting around trying to ignore the nagging feeling that you have no idea what to do next or if what’s you’re doing now is the right thing, read this book. You will come away with a clearer understanding of what everyone else is doing, and there’s precious little that would expand your thinking more than that.