Posts tagged ‘communities’

September 27, 2009

Think Communities, Not Portal

Recently, I was discussing a client’s traditional intranet portal.   So plain, static web pages, and seldom accessed by employees.   I recommended they change their thinking and do away with the traditional portal as they knew it and move to a complete “community model” where the entire intranet portal transforms into SharePoint communities – the entire company, lines of businesses, functional areas, etc… 

If you compare a community to the traditional portal, you may think it’s just a matter of semantics – as the corporate intranet portal page = something all employees have access to.   However, just look at a publishing site in SharePoint vs. the functionality within a Community.   In the community model, it’s more social and you can subscribe and contribute to the community itself.   Receive latest news, CEO blog, HR announcements, provide feedback, etc… all are contained within the functionality of a community.  You can PULL on the community to get information and the community can PULL on you to contribute.  

On the public internet, one might simply look at Yahoo as a traditional portal.  Static, boring, and a site I never login to view anymore.  That’s why Yahoo has lost business and market share.   Okay, occasionally I go to yahoo finance but I can get the same financial info elsewhere — except that I read the chatter in the Yahoo finance discussion threads for amusement.  

Today, Facebook is my portal – the facebook community is my day to day, everyday, several times a day.  In fact, I predicted this back in early 2008 in a prior blog entry Facebook- The New Portal…  

Now whether or not this client listens to my advice or not remains to be seen.  Their initial response was “we have to have a hierarchical intranet portal”.   Except you don’t – you need to think communities, not portal!