I’m sure the most used and most valuable real-estate on your company intranet is the front page. No other page is seen so often. I should expect your intranet home page greets people as soon as they launch their browser.
(Of course, other pages do well for hits too – your Job Opportunities page for instance, or perhaps your ‘classifieds / internal eBay’ section, or maybe just the Canteen Menu page… Would be nice if your Health & Safety pages and Human Resources pages were popular – we can dream can’t we?)
Your front-page is no doubt filled with the opening paragraphs of recent company news stories and ‘urgent’ announcements. The page soon fills up, and stories get pushed off the front page, never to be seen again. Perhaps people beg the intranet editor for a ‘permanent link’ to their news or department from the front page. But when a story gets pushed off the home page, where does it go? In to some dark dank archive?
So how do you arrange your archive, and how do you provide easy access to it, for when people need to know what was announced about pensions and redundancies last month?
That’s my question. Me? Well, at the bottom of every news story I publish, I have three useful links in the info-rich footer that I designed and implemented.
- Top – jumps the reader back to the top of the page, especially good for long pages;
- Home – returns the reader to the front page of our intranet – perhaps were we expect them to go naturally after reading a story;
- Archive – takes the reader to the top level of the dungeon archive, in the hopes they can find their way, Theseus like, through the labyrinth of the past.
How is your archive arranged? Currently, mine’s arranged by week, then by month (and then by year). So really, it’s like a blog, except one has to click numerous times to get deep into the past. It’s a bit clunky and tedious to build and navigate to be honest.
So, that’s what I’m looking for in a new intranet. I want a Content Management System (CMS) that allows me (and other, allowed publishers) to create sub-sections and web pages on our intranet, but I also want the front page and other departmental home pages to be blog-like. And of course, I want all blogs to create an XML RSS Newsfeed, so employees people can subscribe to the news that interests and affects them.
Ross Dawson has some interesting observations about how corporations need blogs to enliven their intranet and communications.
Over to you
So how do you manage the flow of stories to your front page? Where do they go when they get pushed off?
What’s the structure of your news archive?
How do you provide easy access to the archive?
Is your front page powered by blog software already?
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