Nerdville, population 1

3

March 13, 2008 by 8junebugs

I

Am

So

Overwhelmed.

In that good way.

I’ve finally gotten a chance to muck about in our intranet, which is powered by SharePoint. 2003. Yeah, the version Microsoft doesn’t support anymore. But I’m trying to take care of the low-hanging fruit while we work on the MOSS07 roll-out plan.

We, like many organizations, spend a lot of time doing stuff and far less time telling our colleagues what we’re doing. The level of business knowledge varies widely depending on a couple of things: interest, time, and involvement. My department’s mandate is for internal as well as external communication–it’s time we actually put information where people can get it.

We’ve had an intranet forever, but, at least in my time here, no one cares except the power users. Those power users tricked out their areas, and now using pieces of the intranet is a matter of honor. But the vast majority of SharePoint’s functionality has gone unused–we still have folks passing spreadsheets back and forth and working on outdated versions of documents. The guy who rolled out SharePoint (because he’s way smart and recognized how awesome a product it can be) is the first to admit that he’s just the tech side and sort of expected the users to…use it. He’s an expert at business-tech solutions, but building a communications plan is not his job. Nor should it be.

Here’s how it works. A net, inter- or intra-, is two things:

  1. Limitless storage
  2. Communications tool

I would argue that the first still needs the second–who cares what you’re storing if no one know it’s there or how to use it? Rare is the tech guru who actively recognizes this (at least in my experience), but all this internet stuff is useless if no one’s using it to communicate. Fortunately, we employ one of them.

So in addition to improving our current solution, I now have approval rights in the MOSS07 version that’s in development. I’ve been doing some external site management with SharePoint through subcontracting, but I can play with this as part of my day job. Which will give me a leg up when we roll it out, especially if we use the CMS tool. Because, as little as the rest of the company understands about what I do, they will still expect me to be able to train my content owners once the solution-to-be-names is in place.

If you’re at all interesting in content management solutions, check out the latest Content Technology Vendor Map  (PDF)from CMS Watch.

3 thoughts on “Nerdville, population 1

  1. Rich says:

    I, for one, am not interesting in content management solutions.

    Call it an employment liability.

    No, really. I’m utterly boring. I try to manage that content, and I get a few solutions, but it’s just…plain.

    I’m told I make up for it by skewering the grammar and spelling of those I know and love.

  2. 8junebugs says:

    You’re not utterly boring. You’re just able to explain what you do for a living without getting blank stares. That’s worth a lot.

    We probably share the experience of people best qualified to do something else thinking they can do our jobs better than we can. I haven’t found a way to avoid that yet, save becoming a rocket scientist.

  3. Rich says:

    Oh, trust me, I get the blank stares. They usually translate roughly as “You do THAT? On PURPOSE?!”

    And yeah, I’m no rocket surgeon, either. But I really want the Tshirt I saw proclaiming so, because I was laughing for a good two minutes afterward…

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