Beantin

James Royal-Lawson

intranet

Managing disruptive collaboration tools

Yammer has a wonderfully disruptive marketing strategy – anyone with an email address can sign up and become part of the network for that email domain. No IT procurement process, no buy-in, no permission from anyone – you just get on with it and start collaborating.

Collaboration behind your back

A lot of companies will be using Yammer without knowing anything about it – even if they have an official collaborative platform as part of their intranet such as Sharepoint or Lotus Connections.

Some do know and try to “force” users over to their official platform, going as far as adding Yammer to the list of blocked sites.

But what should you do? how do you deal with Yammer, if Yammer isn’t your chosen option?

Don’t punish collaboration

The fact that people have chosen to use Yammer is great. It means they want to share and collaborate. These are exactly the people you want to use as role models for other employees who haven’t quite made the cultural leap into a digitally collaborative work place.

The fact that they have chosen to make Yammer their tool of choice rather than your official solution isn’t ideal, but it’s not something that should be punished. You should focus your efforts instead on gently massaging them into moving across to where you want them to be.

I’ve written about Yammer in this blog post, but the advice is just as applicable to other distruptive services such as Present.ly or Socialcast.

1. Create an account

Create an account in the name of your web management group or whoever is responsible for collaboration (or your intranet).

2. Social media policy

You need to have a social media policy in place to refer to (This article from The Next Web, amongst others, can give you some tips).

3. Talk to information security

Take some advice from your information security department, or check your security policies. It could be the case that Yammer falls into the same “open” security classification as regular public social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

4. Regularly post updates

You need to visit Yammer regularly (with your Web management account) and post some kind of update explaining what you can do here (and where you can do other stuff; the official platform).

Here’s a suggestion for the recurring update:

Please be aware that Yammer and this Yammer network
is not supported, maintained or approved by YOURORG. 

If you publish information on Yammer it must be 
information that is classified as "Open Information" 
according to YOURORGS's information rules. 

You must treat Yammer like any other Internet 
social network - such as Facebook and Twitter. 
Please read our social media and internet policy. 

Please also make use of our supported collaboration 
tools, LIST YOUR TOOLS HERE WITH LINKS.

5. Follow everyone

Follow everyone who joins. This makes your “Web team” account more visible, and increases the chance of people reading your updates.

By dealing with the non-official networks in this way we are educating these enthusiastic social workers rather than banning, closing down, or saying naughty naughty. It’s a mature and friendly way of managing disruptive collaboration tools. A gentle touch rather than a heavy hand.

16 Articles worth reading… (Spotted: Weeks 1-2, 2011)

This edition’s collection of links includes posts related to: Intranets, UX, Web design and web development, web strategy and web tactics, Analysis and eye tracking.


Intranet

Round-Up of Intranet Trends for 2011

To save you visiting several blogs to get a grip of what’s hot within the world of Intranets, this article conveniently groups it all together for you in one post.

New BBC Site Search

Just before Christmas the BBC has launched a new enhanced site search. This is a detailed write up of what they’ve done and why. There’s a lot of useful information here that could be applied to intranet and enterprise search solutions.

Thoughts on a mobile phone enhanced intranet

A blog post talking about mobiles, intranet, QR codes, and location based services was bound to get my juices flowing. Kristian outlines a number of interesting possible applications for the enhanced mobile intranet of the not too distant future.

Silo-busting & customization in the digital workplace

Jane starts a discussion about breaking down Silos by using customization. This sparked a great discussion in the comments between Kristian Norling (featured in my previous recommendation above), myself, and Martin Risgaard on how to break down the geographical silo.


User experience, Web design, and web development

RSS Is Dying Being Ignored, and You Should Be Very Worried

Long post about the death of RSS. I don’t agree. Completely. Yes, RSS and the browser is a dying combination – but with tablets and the age of curation, RSS has a healthy future as part of the wiring beneath the scenes. Non-techies/non-curators can blissfully ignore it but still reap the benefits. This week Kroc followed up his post with this constructive reply.

Responsive Web Design: What It Is and How To Use It

If you haven’t yet heard about responsive web design, then this article on Smashing Magazine is a good and information-rich place to start. We’re rapidly moving away from the one-size-fits-all website.

.css{user:agent;}

A tiny bit of javascript (less than 2KB) that gives you the possibility to add user-agent based CSS classes to your code. After reading about responsive web design in the article above, you will probably understand the usefulness of this.

QR Codes Improve Web Access

I love this example of QR codes. It’s a wonderful example of an application of technology that benefits everyone involved. The teacher has more time for teaching (rather than just making sure everyone has typed in the right URL), the kids take to it like fish to water. It also gives a use for QR codes without using mobile phones.

Static Footer Bars – Web Navigation Trend

James gives some calm and thoughtful analysis of fixed position footer toolbars from the viewpoint of web navigation.


Web strategy and web tactics

Future Integrated Communication From A Digital Perspectiv

Yet more wise words from Johan. Even though there are many of us that bang on about how a web site needs to be focused and task based, the corporate world at large is a number of years behind in it’s thinking. We’ll get there. I’d expand upon Johan’s recommendation of moving 10% of your media budget to content by clarifying “content” to include web management – you content needs to be lovingly dealt with.

How does content strategy differ from corporate communications strategy?

Detailed post from Diana, and especially worth reading on the back of Johan’s post above on integrated communication.

The Web Is a Customer Service Medium

Niche walled gardened channels are forming – from Apps to Gaming worlds – but one thing will remain – the web is where people will go to complain.

8 things every marketing technologist should know

I often try to explain to people that the web isn’t simple. Yes, some tools make aspects of the web accessible and easy – but building and running a successfull web presence involves a huge list of competences. There’s hardly a discipline that isn’t touched. This post features a (non-exhausive) list and diagram of skills needed for a marketing technologist (you can switch that term for your web-title of preference)

Därför blir ditt företags webbplats aldrig färdig

Why your company’s website will never be finished. Something worth saving and remembering from this Swedish post is Magnus’s three focus areas he recommends spitting idea’s up into: improvements that bring more visitors, improvements that convert more visits, improvements to your products and services.

What’s the Future of Mobile Search and SEO?

Mobile search is another aspect that we need to consider and work with. Here are some trends from SEOmoz. Don’t agree with the “single set of SERPs” claim. I don’t see, and I don’t see it being a trend either. Quite the opposite.


Analysis and eye tracking

Mouse Eye Tracking – How useful is it?

If any of you have heard me talk about usability testing with eye tracking, you may also have heard me say how worthless mouse tracking is as a substitute for real eye tracking. Here’s an article that backs that up.

11 Articles worth reading… (Spotted: Week 50-52, 2010)

Generations 2010: What different generations do online

Useful chart from Pew Internet showing how the spread of Internet activities varies across six different generations. One thing I find particularly interesting (mainly as I wrote about this in my december newsletter) is how virtual worlds are the least common activity across all ages. Equally as interesting is that email and search are the top activities across the entire age span. Isn’t email supposed to be dying?

College Students on the Web

Yet another excellent Alertbox study. Myth busting or opinion confirming – for me it’s mainly confirms what I’ve seen and already believed. One of the critical things here is that this behaviour is almost certainly going to follow with them into their working lives.

Your Website Only Needs One Social Share Button

As usual, it depends on your audience. A lot of sites would benefit from having a share button for one service (eg Facebook or Twitter) rather than several. One of the more interesting points raised here is one of: above the fold or below the fold. Placing the button above the fold is an advert, placing it below the fold is a call-to-share. Having both, for one service, would a good balance.

User Expectations with Mobile Apps – Catching up with EffectiveUI

What have we let happen as an industry when 73% of mobile app users say they expect a company’s mobile app to be easier to use than its website? We’ve created a world with complicated, cluttered, unusable, inaccessable, desktop web sites. All hail the mobile web if it continues to turn that oil-tanker around.

The Anatomy of a Perfect Landing Page

Despite it’s lack of references and supporting research, this is a good guide and reminder of how you should build landing pages – dare to be focused!

Wireframes are dead, long live rapid prototyping

I’ve never been a big fan of detailed wireframes – this article gives some of the reasons – I do though like sketching (often using “wireframes”) and then prototyping (and prototyping can take a number of different forms) with functional (and design) requirements/prerequisites naturally part of that early process. One size doesn’t fit all though…

7 YouTube Marketing Facts you Need to Understand

Another great guide from Jesper – and i’m not saying that just because of number 7 on his list! This guide isn’t limited to marketing facts, it’s really an A-Z guide taking you from the initial strategy decision through to page management.

The State of the Blogosphere 2010

Brian Solis gives this year’s round up of the state of the blogosphere. Creation in the form of blogging lives on, but curation is playing an increasingly important role and expect more services catering for curators to pop up during 2011.

Industry Voices make 2011 predictions

Some content management industry expert predictions for 2011. They are spot on with most of the trends, but i’ll reserve judgement on how much those trends develop during 2011. Some of them I really do hope take off…

5 tips for a great intranet strategy

You could snobbily say that Mark is stating the obvious regarding intranet strategy – but despite many of us knowing that this is what you should be doing, it still doesn’t get done. 5 tips filled with wisdom from British Telecom’s intranet manager Mark Morrell.

Planning for Collaboration in a Growing Business

If you plan to grow, then make sure you plan for collaboration early. This is the same advice for many of the (digital) aspects of a small business. It doesn’t take much extra effort to plan things early on so that they will scale much easier if (and when) you grow.

5 Valuable takes from Airlines use of Facebook – the “snow fog story”

Second featured article from Jesper this week, who is supposed to be on his way to Texas for a Christmas break. He was mixed up in the whole pre-Christmas transport weather thing – it has though given him a great opportunity to gather some Facebook insights regarding customer service in crisis situations based on personal experience.

19 Articles worth reading… (Spotted: Weeks 46-49, 2010)

A whopping 20 article post this time covering 4 weeks of articles spotted on my web-travels. Enjoy!

I’m not anti-SharePoint

Perhaps it’s not SharePoint thats rubbish, but the way it was implemented in your organisation?

Building Tomorrow’s Organization – without today’s IT?

You get the chance to start from scratch – how would you build your company’s IT organisation? Throw IT into the cloud! A provocative but insightful article.

Global Intranet Trends for 2011 – Sample

Last month the Global Intranet Trends report for this year was released. An executive summary and a some sample pages are included.

2011 Intranet Predictions

And once you’ve read the sample report from the Global Intranet Trends, why not compare and contrast its findings with these 10 predictions for 2011 from the Internet Benchmark Forum.

Building the Intranet Experience

Carolyn gives a few quick tips on how you can build a better intranet and then finishes off the post with a fine list of Intranet Twitter people.

Raising the Bar

It’s a people centric world, individuals are catching up quicker than businesses. Employees are circumnavigating policies and restrictions in the way they work in order to get the job done. Michael gives some suggestions of how you can act from both customer and employee perspectives.

Information flow part 4: Search statistics for our enterprise search

Kristian’s excellent series of posts continues with a look at how his organisation gathers and acts upon the search statistics that they gather on their intranet.

Internal comms at IBM shift from creation to curation

Insights into how the intranet and collaboration works at IBM. With over 400,000 employees IBM is like a small country. The sheer volume of content has forced IBM to embrace employee generated content and curation.

Why Joe Client Doesn’t Care About Standards

Selling web standards is no easy task. Clients need sites that are effective, but it’s our job as web professionals to bake web standards into our work – the client doesn’t really need to know the dirty details, just how (more) effective their website is.

Dark Patterns: User Interfaces Designed to Trick People

A wiki filled with examples of user interfaces (web sites) that are designed to trick people. Forget Wikileaks, this is the naming and shaming you should be reading. Educating and enlightening.

Thumbnail based web design?

Google Preview has the potential to make quite an impact in how people decide to click on a result in SERPs. Just now I suspect previews are not widely seen – but it’s wise to put a bit of thought into how your pages look in it – and an important web management task to check your preview thumbnails.

FAQ: Instant Previews

For anyone managing a website, you should read this FAQ. It pretty much explains everything you need to know about how Google collects, generates and uses the preview thumbnails. Many sites will need some tweaking – and right now i’m not talking about design tweaks, but under the hood stuff.

Web Designer’s Guide to PNG Image Format

The PNG image format has become the de facto standard in web design. This is probably the best guide and explanation i’ve read about PNG.

CSS Vocabulary

Pseudo-classes? Child-selectors? Descendant Combinator? Ever struggled to remember what all these odd sounding CSS terms mean? well now you’ve got an easy to read reference to help you out.

Content Strategy, IA, UX or SEO: What’s My Problem?

There are numerous aspects and angles to managing an effective web site and web presence. In this post Dan details some example scenarios and describes some possible solutions.

Becoming a Storyteller

A well researched and well written blog post by Andreas. My dumb-ass executive summary: Storytelling is da shit.

Social Media. It’s There To Give Your Brand A Body

Johan drums a similar drum sometimes in his posts, but it’s a drum that’s worth beating. He has my permission to keep writing this kind of blog post until the majority of companies have heeded his advice.

Mobile OS usage splits the world

As I highlighted in my blog post almost a year ago, the world-wide distribution of smartphone usage and Mobile OS usage is not uniform. The picture in India and Asia is vastly different to North America and Europe. It’s not all iPhone and Android y’know.

We Will Eye Track Almost Anything!!! (Part 3!)

And finally… More “Will it eye track” fun from the Acuity ETS blog. This time they show off some eye tracking data gathered from abseiling down a hotel. Pointless fun – well, almost pointless – it was for charity…

7 Articles worth reading… (Spotted: Week 44-45, 2010)

Photos as Web Content

Anyone who has done any eye tracking tests knows how true this Alertbox article from Nielsen is. Visitors to your site only pay attention to images that are relevant to their task, other pictures used to “make the page pretty” (and indeed banner ads) are ignored. Flash film on start page? ha!

Google Instant Previews – Eye tracking shows it’s game changing

Some eye tracking testing of Google’s new Previews feature. It basically supports what I’ve suspected. Once a user has learnt that the preview feature exists, it’s a game changer. How your site looks in this preview is going to become crucial, and another thing to check as part of your regular routines.

New data proves your mobile marketing strategy must include Android

Gone is the time when you could make an iPhone app and consider your mobile strategy done and dusted. Ignoring Android is becoming the modern-day equivalent of making a web site “Internet Explorer Only”.

Intranet strategy – planning a successful intranet

Do you have an intranet strategy? Far too few organisations actually do. Toby Ward outlines a strategy, offers a methodology and even a model. Must be Christmas!

Intranets in 2011: a turning point

Extended “highlights” by Jane McConnell from the soon to be released Global Intranet Trends 2011 report. Highlights of the highlights: Governance more important than ever, employee generated content and collaboration are essential, people focused, accessible, real-time.

Could Yammer be the death of your organisation?

An alarmist title to this article, but it does have a good message – Enterprise collaboration is here, you can’t ignore it, and you need to have suitable policies in place. What the article doesn’t do though is give you much advice regarding governence of networks like Yammer. I’ve got a blog post brewing about that.

The Art and Science of SEO Site Audits

Nice overview of SEO Audits from Search Engine Watch – Even for the non-expert this is useful to show just how many factors are involved in auditing a site, and also a reminder of how important it is to take care of your SEO (even more so during redesigns!)

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