The Shift Towards Portals with Search Driven Functionality
A lot of the people I meet in my work use these new web 2.0 tools daily. They ask me why metadata and taxonomies have to be so complicated when you can do “that web 2.0 stuff” with tagging. They say they prefer “the easy way” and prefer folksonomies over structures; they don’t think they can trust the structures anyway. People, who would like to work in an organization like Charlies.
Traditionally intranets are about control; we want to control what information people get and when and how they get it, instead of trying to make sure that people have the information they need when they need it.
I did some sketches for a search driven portal the other day. One of the comments I got was: “Wow! Why can’t we do that?” Actually, people are doing that. There are dozens of services out there like iGoogle and Superstart; all about customizing the experience for each user. This is like the intranet I want!
In order to achieve this, the companies need a change of focus. It is not about having control over every detail, or about just seizing control. It’s about finding a way to manage communication and make it easier for people to find what they want when they need it.
The search vendors have started to realize that. There is a shift towards portals with search driven functionality.
The design is not static, but reflects what is new and important to you, the specific user.
There are no menus in several levels; instead information about current events and information about what has happened since the last time you visited, take up the information space. Web 2.0 tools such as wikis and blogs can be used internally to improve communication and collaboration.
Are you looking for something special? Search for it! You don’t need to know where it is in order to find the information you are looking for.
This is off course the vision, where few organizations have dared to go. But there are off course exceptions to this. I have been working in a project where there is no fear of seizing control over every little detail. The aim is instead to understand how to best support the users in their work, using enterprise 2.0 tools and search as a vital part of the solution. I would like to see more organizations like Charlie’s…