Who invented the intranet?

Blogging & Intranet

by Lars Heidemann

What is a blog What is an intranet? Do i need this In this article I will introduce you to both tools for internal and external communication and point out pitfalls.

Blog

Often only operated by "global players", but also interesting for the small retailer around the corner, the blog is a means of increasing your own awareness or that of your products. In the age of digital togetherness, the interactive web (aka web 2.0), the digital diary, the blog, has a long history for this medium that goes back to the 1990s.

This digital diary, used as a real diary by the pioneers of the Internet, has attracted more and more interest from (Internet) marketing strategists in recent years.

Intranet

A small network at home or in the company is already an intranet. Several networked intranets make up the Internet. This is a very simplified and not entirely correct representation, but should remain that way for the time being. Just as we all find out about this and that on the Internet - as you might be doing when you are reading this page - the employees of a company can (can) find information on the intranet. Certainly, an intranet only makes sense if the company has a certain size, but the functionality can still be mapped today with analog means such as notices or employee appraisals. Because an intranet is nothing else: a bulletin board or a company's information event.

Blog & intranet

Blog and intranet are diverse and (almost) always profitable, albeit in very different ways. One type - unfortunately far too little used - is internal communication in a company or the exchange and provision of information if one is organized in a decentralized manner.

Intelligent use of the intranet as a bulletin board

For very large companies, it is simply impossible to keep all employees up to date through information events. And bulletin boards have gone out of style. The intranet therefore offers many companies the opportunity to communicate information bundled and sorted by topic. As with the customer via the product overview on the company website, information on certain topics can be offered to the employee via the intranet. Of course, the intranet is no guarantee that this information will be perceived, as on a bulletin board you can perceive the information offered or pass it by. In the past, if you wanted to ensure that important information reached the employee, you had a document signed. Today this can be done digitally in a much more time and paper-saving way.

Intranet as a central point of contact for web applications

In our globalized world, however, the intranet also has the task of making all necessary information accessible to employees who live and work in different time zones. Electronic work plans, technical information on the products or price lists and address directories are just a few of the possible applications. Workflow management and scheduling are also possible from the home computer, which can be connected to the intranet via VPN.

Knowledge management in the intranet

A wiki (similar to Wikipedia, but only for internal use) can also be installed on the intranet, which can be used to secure knowledge. A really efficient wiki helps the company not to have to reinvent the wheel over and over again. You can quickly look up whether certain questions have not already been asked and answered. The modern company management has unfortunately failed to keep the know-how carriers in the company because they are apparently out of date. This knowledge is hopelessly lost for such companies or has to be bought again at great expense.

Learn from the great

A blog can be used about the current state of development, tips and tricks when using a product or just to pass the time. Large companies such as Microsoft, Google or Apple use blogs to report on current developments. Not to pass the time, but purely for advertising purposes. Employees are even encouraged to blog. This represents an unmistakable advertising opportunity to make the products (current or future) public.

Well, it's not just companies from the "New Economy" who have discovered a blog for themselves. Fischer or TOX dowels, bicycle or rubber boot manufacturers also blog.

The tips and tricks that these companies offer are positively absorbed by the readers and enjoy great popularity. The value of these blogs for customer loyalty can only be guessed at and will probably only be known to the company itself.

For many companies, an intranet solution is still a long way off. For many SMEs, it is worth considering, as process optimization can save money in the medium term.

Marketing for every budget

A blog can be implemented very inexpensively through various providers and thus also provides an opportunity for smaller companies and self-employed people to draw attention to themselves. Simply turn on the search engine of your choice and see what offers are available.

Rules of conduct - rights & obligations of an operator

But there are rules of play and behavior for both the intranet and the blog. Blogs shouldn't be too promotional, because then you as a manufacturer will hardly find acceptance among the readers. After all, the potential customer has already landed on your own website, so why bombard him as well. It is better to offer _real_ value-added information that the reader will be happy to return. And the same guidelines apply in the intranet as for "analog" internal company communication.

Please ask your management consultant or communications service provider about risks and side effects.