Best Practices

Published on: January 17, 2003
Last Updated: January 17, 2003

Best Practices

Published on: January 17, 2003
Last Updated: January 17, 2003

Give Your Users the Power of the Press With Weblogs and Wikis

Do your users need new ways to communicate and share besides shouting over the cube walls and rooting through networked drives? Maybe it’s time to consider putting the intranet to work with weblogs and wikis. Michael Hall says even Microsoft is getting in on the act.

Resource Contents show

BellSouth: A Winning Intranet

Do you ever wonder just what an award-winning intranet looks like? Here is your chance to find out. In this article, derived from the Intranet Design Annual: Ten Best Intranets of 2002, Kara Pernice Coyne discusses what makes a winning intranet using BellSouth Corporation, a Fortune 100 communications services company, as a basis for example.

Keeping Your Intranet Healthy and Effective

For an intranet to remain an important business tool, it must constantly evolve to match the changing needs of the business. To this end, James Robertson discusses some of the ways you can keep your intranet healthy and make sure it stays an effective resource for your organization.

Communicating Clearly with Internal Customers

Today’s business environment requires that you not only be a technical whiz, but that you are also capable of relating your ideas to users and management. In this months Intranet Talk, P.G Daly offers some advice on how to make the most of your next meeting with internal ‘customers’.

How To Avoid The Dreaded Intranet ‘Bonk’

Without the right preparation, backing, and support, even the most seasoned athlete can ‘bonk’, a basic mental and physical shut down when your body can no longer propel you forward. In the same way, an intranet that doesn’t have the right strategy can also come to a halt. Paul Chin proffers some advice on how you can prevent your intranet from hitting the wall.

Encouraging End User Self Sufficiency

Many end user issues are simple, but the costs associated with fixing them can soon mount up. One effective way to reduce these costs, and the number of calls, is to encourage users to be more self-sufficient. Think of it as helping users to help themselves.

Using Intranets To Support Distributed Teams and One-Time Projects

We generally think of an intranet as being something of a permanent fixture, but as James Smethurst explains, the same advantages that an intranet brings a corporate environment can be just as useful when coordinating a distributed team working on a one-time project.

Sixteen Steps To A Renewed Corporate Intranet

Do you sometimes think that your intranet is on its last legs? Not sure its worth restoring your once proud intranet to its former glory? If this sounds like you, content management guru James Robertson details a sixteen-point plan to breathe some much needed life into your ailing intranet.

Is Your Intranet Headed for Extinction? (Part II)

In the second part of this two-part article, Toby Ward continues his look at how you can make sure your intranet survives and thrives through good planning, customer buy-in, and sound execution.

Book Excerpt – E-Support : How Cisco Systems Saves Millions While Improving Customer Support

In this excerpt from one of Cisco Press’ newest titles, Blyth Strachman of Cisco’s Advanced Customer Systems Group talks about various aspects of planning, designing, and testing user interfaces, specifically the Cisco Product, Technology and Networking Solutions support pages.

Molding a New Intranet Project Team for Success

There are more challenges in building an intranet than just determining what content you will deliver, and how you will deliver it. In this month’s Intranet Talk column, P.G Daly relates some first hand team management tips that will make your intranet development projects run smoothly.

Publishing Content from Your Document Management System

Many organizations have both a document management system and an Intranet. Instead of duplicating content in both, why not use one to provide content for the other? P.G Daly discusses how her organization does just that in this month’s Intranet Talk.

Too Many Cooks?

The recipe for a successful and usable intranet contains many ingredients, but content by far the most significant. In this article, Paul Chin guides you through the process of managing the content on your intranet without making a meal of it.

Is Your Intranet Headed for Extinction?

All too often, an Intranet can become a ‘political football’ causing people to lose interest, and budget to be sucked into a project that will ultimately fail. In this month’s Intranet Insight, Toby Ward looks at some of the things you can do to make sure that your Intranet doesn’t go the way of the Dodo.

Important Steps to Keep Your Intranet Sticky

An intranet is only as good as the visitor traffic. Follow these simple steps to create an intranet that is frequently visited and even more valuable for your company.

Technology Paranoia – Is it Hampering your Intranet Efforts?

Often, the success of a technology project is dependant on the technical aptitude of the users rather than the technology itself.

In some cases, it can even make the difference between a project succeeding or failing. Intranet Journal columnist P.G Daly takes a look as some of the educational issues she faced while training users for a recent intranet application roll-out.

The Search Isn’t Broken (Part II)

Toby Ward concludes his two-part look at how search effectiveness can be enhanced by people processes and rules, and examines how today’s search challenges can be met by using a taxonomy and effective meta tagging.

How To Revive a Zombie Content Management System

Is the content in your content management system as fresh as it could be? CMS expert James Robertson looks at some of the steps you can take to revive a content management system and then keep it that way.

Centralized Or Decentralized Authoring?

In your quest for intranet content, should you opt for a centralized or decentralized approach to authoring? According to James Robertson, there is no right or wrong answer to the question, but you must understand the strengths and weaknesses of both approaches if you are to get the best results.

The Search isn’t Broken We’re Broken

One of the major and universal frustrations heard from Internet and intranet users alike is that corporate search engines are generally ineffective.

But, are search engines the real problem, or is the issue more complex? In the latest edition of Intranet Insights, Toby Ward looks at why the problem of inaccurate search results is so prevalent, and at what can be done about it.

Intranet Web Application Architecture Basics

In a recent article, P.G Daly discussed running multiple projects on a single Web server. In this edition of Intranet Talk, P.G Daly looks at some of the theory behind how to best architect your Java web applications.

Feeding the Monster – Part II

Communicators and content managers frequently fret over the challenge of ‘feeding the monster’. The monster in question is the intranet; the food is ‘content’.

One solution to the hungry intranet challenge is to turn employees into journalists. In the second part of this two part article, Toby Ward takes a look at some of the pros and cons of using employees as Intranet content journalists.

Lycos Leverages Intranet Apps to Drive New Revenues

Internet portal Lycos is looking to leverage a set of hosted intranet applications to drive new revenues and differentiate itself from the competition through a partnership signed with This article talks about the new services Lycos is offering and what competitors like Microsoft MSN, Yahoo! and AOL are doing

The System Life Cycle and Intranets II

P.G. Daly recently received some thought provoking comments on her article “The System Life Cycle and Intranets” from a Technical Analyst for In this article, she shares some of his comments and her thoughts on them as well as some additional critical success factors.

Real World Intranets, Part 7 Fidelity Canada Client Service Dept.: A Case Study

It’s healthy for your intranet to grow over time, but what happens when an intranet grows too quickly? What happens when the volume of data on the site spins out of control at such a fierce rate, that hunting for a specific piece of information becomes like looking for a one certain snowflake in a blizzard? What happens when an intranet becomes a wild west.

The Evolution of the Intranet Part II

Last year, Tim Dorey wrote an article about the evolution of the intranet, “FOR SALE: One Filing Cabinet, Good Condition.” It was a simple overview of what an intranet is and how the systems that compose an intranet have changed over the years. A year later, and you wonder what has changed? Well, a great deal has taken place.

Ask Not What You Can Do for Your Intranet…

Easing and Automating Site Maintenance
Regardless of the content on your site, there will always be certain tasks that seem very repetitive and make you feel as though you were working in front of an assembly line. The good news is that “repetitive” can usually mean that you can automate the processes. Computers are great for repetition, human beings are not.

Real World Intranets, Part 6

SAIC Employee Owners Network: A Case Study
All of the intranets we’ve looked at in this series offer ways that employees can personalize the information they see, but to really understand the tools and systems that create strong bonds with users, we went to the experts, the people behind the Science Applications International Corporation’s intranet.

Feed ‘The Monster’ – Turn Employees Into Journalists (Part I)

Communicators and content managers frequently fret over the challenge of ‘feeding the monster’. The monster in question is the intranet; the food is ‘content’. One solution to the hungry intranet challenge is to turn employees into journalists.

The Value of Web Statistics

Intranets are usually run on a webserver. This webserver not only provides pages to users, but tracks exactly which pages are accessed and when. This information can be analysed by a web statistics package to provide essential information about the usage of the intranet.

Hosted Intranets Proving Their Worth

In what was considered a do or die situation, appears to have successfully made the switch from a free hosted intranet model to a paid subscription model.

Now the Boston company hopes to grow its subscriber base by focusing on a couple of key vertical sectors and by forging alliances. Its biggest challenge may be yet to come, however, as Microsoft has set its sights on the market.

The System Life Cycle and Intranets

Every intranet project, regardless of how big or small, has to go through a system life cycle process. It is almost like a natural law, unavoidable, like gravity. The difference resides in how formal or informal, elaborate or simple, structured or free form, the process is followed.

Site Ergonomics and User Tests

Ergonomics puts users at the center of the intranet design process to give them a maximum level of comfort. But the effects also affect the efficiency and safety of actions carried out, saving the time of users and impacting the bottom line.

Physicians’ Online Builds Largest Authenticated Online Medical Community

Physicians’ Online was founded in 1994 to provide its physician members free access to valuable medical resources and databases. Currently there are 218,000 members using the community, which generate around 1 million transactions per month for the last three years.

Community Building As A Core Intranet Value

Facilitating creative dialogues between people is the Internet’s greatest contribution to business culture, much more important than selling things online or lowering supply-chain costs. In this article, Gordon Benett explains why.

Toby Ward’s Intranet Insight: People The Heart of Your Portal

Portals must be based on employees and the work they undertake during an average workday. If a portal could be likened to a house, then technology is equivalent to the wiring and appliances while people serve as both the foundation and the inhabitants.

P.G Daly’s Intranet talk – Intranet Naming Practices

In this article P.G. Daly takes a look at some of the different possibilities for naming and addressing an intranet. To her, a best practice for intranet naming is one that makes sense not only to the users but also to the technical staff. This means that it has to be easy for users to handle yet logical and manageable enough for the technical staff to support.

Intranet Corner – Building Your Intranet Team

You can’t build a successful intranet if your team is worn down by constant infighting or lamenting over how incompetent the other members are.

A group that doesn’t work well together is counter-productive and weakens morale. How do you avoid this? Well, there’s no guarantee that you can or will. But you can take an important step in the right direction by selecting the right people for the team.

David Weinberger’s Intranet Buzz: Identity And Self

In an Everyone But Microsoft move, Sun and 32 other companies this fall created The Liberty Alliance. The Alliance is trying to provide an alternative to Microsoft Passport, an insidious plan to make Microsoft the keeper of the information that defines us as individuals on the Internet.

A Checklist of Must-Have Features For Your Intranet

Your intranet can be anything that you want it to be. It can merely contain a list of company polices and a picture of the employee-of-the-month. Or it can be an all-inclusive, high-tech wonder that transforms an otherwise overwhelmed organization into a well-oiled machine. Ready to embrace efficiency? Consider including the intranet features listed here in your organization’s intranet.

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Written by Bobby

Bobby Lawson is a seasoned technology writer with over a decade of experience in the industry. He has written extensively on topics such as cybersecurity, cloud computing, and data analytics. His articles have been featured in several prominent publications, and he is known for his ability to distill complex technical concepts into easily digestible content.