Usability, content, search and analytics on the corporate intranet

Pseudo-social functions on news stories

6 September, 2010 – Luke Oatham

Although I blogged about introducing “social functions” on the intranet, I have to admit that they are not 100% social. In fact, I probably should have called them “engagement tools.”


Here’s how it works. We have voting functions on news stories for “More like this” and “Fewer like this.” When you vote, it ultimately gets counted and sent to our editorial team. Our “Share with a colleague” function will send an email to another staff member. And adding a comment will send an email to the editorial team.

In all these cases we are still using old-fashioned one-to-one relationships. It’s not truly social because if I vote for a news story or add a comment, only the editorial team get to know about it. My work colleagues won’t know. And other staff across the organisation won’t know. These days, on the internet, if I share or like something then other people get to know about it. At the very least, whatever I share or like is out there and available for other people to find. And that’s the power of “social.”

On the intranet, these new functions are a good start in an attempt to open up a dialogue with staff and to improve sharing. But because we have no database or programming capability on our intranet server, we remain limited in what we can deliver to staff in terms of true social functions.

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