42 things I heard at the #IntranetNow Conference

This week I had the joy of going to an event filled with a very specific kind of geek.  Whether your term of choice is the digital workplace,  intranet, portal, gateway, hub or dumping ground, I got to speak, listen and learn with people inordinately passionate about improving the way people communicate online at the Intranet Now conference.

Now, I’ve been told off in the past that doodling in my notepad doesn’t look all that professional, but I actually find it’s a great way of retaining knowledge.  For example, I can still tell you that Jerome Bruner, that great educational constructivist type (ok, that’s getting a little rusty) wrote at length about scaffolding childrens’ learning, as I once drew his name into a large wall, covered in scaffolding poles.

Anyhoo. I digress. Everyone loves a listicle, so here’s some of what I heard at #IntranetNow, in no particular order…

1-6ish. Don’t hover/bother, do bribe.

Get people involved in your testing, but don’t get too involved – sit on your hands if you have to – you have to see how people will use your systems without intervention.

A round-up of @Cal444's wonderful lightning talk on proper testing.
A round-up of @Cal444‘s wonderful lightning talk on proper testing.

 

7-13ish: Get others to invest in your wonder.

Be inclusive, make heavyweight allies to help negotiate office politics and gain adoption and acceptance of your site.

Francis Rowland's insights into UX and adoption
@FrancisRowland‘s tips on sewing the seeds of UX and getting people involved

 

14-19: Strong UX + Bitesize Content = Award-winning LMS

How do you eat an elephant? One bitesize piece of learning and development content,  delivered just in time, at a time.

Martin Pope's ace presentation on delivering useful content
Martin Pope‘s ace presentation on delivering useful content

 

20-24: Start small, but scaleable to make loveable content

Or why iterative, cloud-based development may in fact be our future.  I also love cranes and lego.

http://intranetnow.co.uk/speakers/#martinp
Dan Thomsen at Webtop on making bricks, not building sites

 

25-30: Remember the ubiquitous laws of the interweb.

In my humble experience of managing online communities, the biggest challenge for a workplace social network can be to get people to participate in the first place; once you DO have that critical mass of people using the site, remembering these four rules will stand you in great stead for building a positive network!

 

Luke Mepham's rules of the interweb
Luke Mepham‘s rules of the interweb
  •  Don’t draw unnecessarily large levels of attention to things that would otherwise go unnoticed
  • Step in where necessary so debates don’t descend into anarchy
  • Take time to understand your audience – tone doesn’t travel
  • Anonymity transcends all moral decency – make promises not threats to deal with dissidence appropriately.

31-35ish: If you succeed, you’re a statistical anomaly

Apart from following the above rules, transparency is key. Listen to your community, make sure there are clear rules for governance and ownership.

Richard Hare on how many ways can YOU mess up an online community...
Richard Hare on how many ways can YOU mess up an online community…

 

36-42: Colonel Mustard, in the library, with the RFID-enabled candlestick

There’s a beautiful, connected future at our fingertips. Imagine that you could use YOUR intranet to play a massive, multi-player game of Cluedo, using your building information management system, RFID tags, wifi beacons and smartphones. Invotra, I’m looking at YOU to make. this.happen.

 

Paul Zimmerman's intranet of things
Paul Zimmerman’s marvellous intranet of things

Or, perhaps you’d find it more useful to know if a meeting room was available, or who turned up to a training session, or where in the building hotdesking Fred is sitting today.

Either way, there are practical ways to connect our online and physical worlds – I’m sure Paul would love to talk to you more about it.

Such learn. So doodles. So wow. Hopefully more to come…

I’ve been wrangling with whether to create a separate “work” and “play” Twitter account, but there’s often so much crossover between the two. If you found this, you may already follow me on the Twitter. Come and join the puns…

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