Friday, March 03, 2006

Social bookmarking and intranet personalisation

Toby Ward has written a good post on Dogear (great name) the social bookmarking tool on the IBM intranet.

Toby writes:
" From the intranet perspective, social bookmarking is a taxonomy
system developed and maintained by employees. A taxonomy that is always
updating and refreshing as a living, breathing business system. You may have
heard such a taxonomy referred to as a folksonomy. "

It sounds alike a great tool for user perspective IA and continues on the idea of site and information personalisation. As we all know content should be structured around users not the organisation;s perspective (in my expereince hardly ever the same) and to do this we have traditionallly employed methods such as card sorting.

It will be interesting to see where these types of developments go to in the future as while many organisations are offering certain types of personalisation, take-up of these developments are usually limited to a number of keen super-users rather than just standard employees.

Personalisation is one the big selling points of 'portals' but is this personalisation really offering benefits to the wider organisation or does it actually create more information silos?

At a conference I attended last year I heard from a usability expert from Boeing where only 15% of users used the personalisation features their portal offered.

Basically if many general users can't understand how to use their browser favourites (and yes many users can't) anything else is just too far for them at the moment.

Of course like all intranets it comes down to organisational culture, industry, size of the site, number of employees and the expertise and investment in the intranet. It would be right up IBM's alley but other orgsanisations who focus on a more 'single organisation viewpoint' it would very difficult if not impossible to get these types of innovations past the front door.

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