Monday, January 15, 2007

Jakob Nielsen's Report of the 10 Best Intranets of 2007

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Being that i spend most of my time working with clients to deliver content to enterprise users, i am always excited when Jakob Nielsen's 10 Best Intranet report is published. Like many others who deal with information delivery behind the firewall- i follow Nielsen and sometimes do not agree with him, but i know that many of my clients do follow the lead of both Nielsen and the intranets that have been reviewed and recognized. I haven't read the entire report- but i will and will post additional thoughts once i do- i however recommend reading the summary of the report that was published in the Alertbox.

On the list this year, there are a couple of customers that i have worked with over the last few years at Factiva Dow Jones (as there was on the 2006 and 2005 lists) but it makes me particularly pleased because this year's winners emphasized an editorial approach to news on the homepage. From the summary:

"Many intranets have long offered news feeds, but this year's winners have taken extra steps to make their news offerings more relevant to employees, both for internal news and for industry-related external news. Labeling and categorization are more extensive than before, and several intranets let users rate and comment on stories."

Editorial workbench solutions for corporate clients have been a very popular solution over the last few years and for companies that do not have resources to hand pick articles, our editorial services have also offered customized news summaries that can be posted to intranets with multiple delivery options like wireless delivery. With information overflow and with the need to provide content specific to the business needs- human 'editors' who have knowledge of the business will always provide the best summarization of news of interest and it is evident based on the usability and added values these intranets provide.

Nielsen goes on to write under the heading "Web Trends Without the Hype" about using Web 2.0 in the enterprise. Richard MacManus over at Read/WriteWeb thinks Nielsen takes "takes an unnecessary potshot" against user rated content. Of course we know that Nielsen is just being Nielsen but i tend to agree with Nielsen- in that:

Employees of the same company have shared goals and interests, they have passed the quality filter of getting hired, and they have their reputations to protect. For all these reasons, ratings and comments from colleagues are likely to be much more useful than those of random blog readers.

In this post last year on what i saw as growing trends in information delivery in the enterprise- "News Summary Applications- 'Socialize and Network with External News" i wrote that there was a need for enterprises to enable ‘participatory consumption’ to socialize and network with targeted external news more within the enterprise. It is good to see that those companies that are taking the lead are being recognized.

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