Twitter lists reveal the influential intranet people

After trying the Gleek app on my work phone, I discovered a set of great public intranet lists made by some of the people I follow on Twitter:

I also had my own list since before:

There are of course more lists, but looking through these, quite a few people appear in all lists or as people followed by the above (not in all cases, but you get the idea), such as:

Thanks to the app, I not only found public lists I hadn’t seen before. I also found new people to follow. Meanwhile, being influential  in the intranet world, all these people and organizations not only have a responsibility to come up with great ideas, but also to publicly debate what really is the best way forward for intranets. I do to.

I look forward to an interesting intranet year, when I get back from the paternity leave. Then I will perhaps have more time to analyze the tweets of all people above, while launching a new intranet to my colleagues.

Now off to play.

My Personal Knowledge Mastery tools

More and more is written on the subject Personal Knowledge Mastery  (PKM), such as Harold Jarche‘s site and PKM link collection, and blog posts like this week’s What is Personal Knowledge Management? Harold has also collected a great set of tools others use for their Personal Knowledge Mastery.

Inspired by Sumeet Moghe‘s blog post Here’s how I’m approaching Personal Knowledge Management, I decided to list the tools and processes I use to handle my own Personal Knowledge Mastery. I just started doing this in a structured way, so the tools and processes will change. This is, however, where I stand today:

Step One: Seek

– As for Sumeet Moghe, Google Reader Feedly and Twitter are my foremost collection methods. To make things even easier, I connect my Google Reader account to FeedDemon thanks to its ability to save “Watches”, i.e. saved searches. I prefer to access Twitter via HootSuite, thanks to the great UI. Lots of opportunities to structure feeds via tabs gives me more than enough to look through.

Step Two: Sense

– I skim through all new postings 2-3 times a day, and when I want to save something and tag it so I can find it again, I send the links to Delicious Evernote. When I see some trends emerging, or I sense that two or more areas should be connected, I use Microsoft’s OneNote at work and Dropbox Google Drive privately to save my writings in the cloud.

Step Three: Share 

– My primary ways of sharing, except for structured and casual meetings at work, are my twitter account and this blog. I use WordPress on my site, thanks to its ease-of-use.

It would be interesting to hear more about what tools and processes other use. The more we share about this, the better we can make sense of the constant flow of information that surrounds us.


Does the potential in social intranets lie in Personal Knowledge Management?

Angie Cullen just listed five key features to consider when choosing a social intranet:

  • Forum Collaboration
  • Social Tagging and Ranking
  • Document Storage & Collaboration
  • Expertise Finder
  • Knowledge Base or Wiki

 They all remind me of my own findings when asking my colleagues what they really need from our intranet, even though I focused less on features:

  • Who knows what, and has which experiences?
  • What did we do in project X, who did it, and what did it lead to?
  • What happens in project X, Y and Z now?
  • How can I contact person X to ask a short question?
  • Sorting what I want to listen to.

 It also reminds me of what Oscar Berg noted as some of the six core digital workplace capabilities in people (via CMS Wire):

  • Coordinating
  • Finding people
  • Networking
  • Meeting
  • Communicating
  • Sharing

How, then, should we be able to perform all these tasks? Building what people often refer to as the social intranet might only be one part of the solution: The social intranet is only technology that can enable the above if people know how. To install all features will only take you so far, and could possibly also backlash on people: “What should I do with all this? Why should I see that Stephan has uploaded a document? I have enough on my table and don’t need this noise.”

I believe the solution to much of the above lies in Personal Knowledge Management, here presented by Harold Jarche. It all starts at the opposite end, by teaching people how to separate the wheat from the chaff in the daily information flood. If we look at Jarche’s three steps, Seek-Sense-Share, we have a lot to do in the first two steps before many social intranet features see their true potential. Without filtering, validation, and synthesis from the users, what they share could mean very little to the others and even disturb them. Meanwhile, what we want is increased efficiency and feeling of ease in a world that grows more complex by the minute.

It would be interesting to hear if Seek and Sense making skills emerge from using a social intranet – just by introducing Sharing features. I have the feeling that we might miss some crucial steps, and that people need training in Personal Knowledge Mangement in order for the social intranets to reach their full potential. Start with Seeking and Sensing, and then the Sharing will be a joy for all.

My Top 10 Tools for Learning


Here are my top 10 tools for learning, as asked by Jane Hart at the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies, and answered already by people such as Harold Jarche (feed), Clark Quinn (feed) and more.

  1. Twitter: Excellent tool for keeping updated on what people such as my mentors and more are up to. Very quickly I can interact with people from all around the world. You find me at @patrikbergman.
  2. Google Reader: My main tool for following blogs via RSS. I go through this every morning over a cup of coffee, and then once in the afternoon again.
  3. WordPress: This blog is using WordPress, and helps me post my thoughts and have people discuss them.
  4. Facebook: Used privately to interact with people, to learn about silly and important things in their lives.
  5. LinkedIn: Excellent tool for professional groups, such as the Intranet Professionals, where we discuss best practices.
  6. Google Search: My main tool for quickly locating just about anything.
  7. YouTube: No matter how small a problem seems, there is a high potential that someone else has experienced it, and turned it into a movie.
  8. Dropbox: Such a great tool. Save files and reach them from everywhere.
  9. Microsoft SharePoint: The tool we build our intranet on.
  10. Kayako Fusion: The helpdesk tool we use for collecting questions and suggestions from all employees.

What are your top 10 learning tools? Make sure to cast your votes now.

What employees really need from our intranet

Following the advice from James Robertson (@s2djames) in his book “What every intranet team should know“, I have conducted interviews with 11 of my co-workers to find what they really need from our intranet. So, instead of asking them “Which features would you want?” resulting in answers like “a feature like Apple’s Genius”, we spoke about what they do daily, where the challenges lie, and how those could be dealt with. Many answers had nothing to do with our intranet, while others did (summarized below). This proved to be a great way to see if our intranet can make the daily work smoother.

Here are the major intranet subjects all 11 gathered around. Some of them can be matched to things we already plan, some are already around without people knowing it (the wonderful challenge of internal communications) while others need to be developed further.

  • Who knows what, and has which experiences?
    Our company is growing quickly and it is harder now to know who knows what. People just want to search for a subject, a competence, an experience and see a clear image of who does what. This includes current experiences and knowledge, as well as earlier work. And who is person X e-mailing me about this? Where in the organization is she, and what is her profession?
  • What did we do in project X, who did it, and what did it lead to?
    We already document what we do in the projects, but when growing, we need a central place to save this documentation, tagged with more than just the project name. “Here it is! You just needed to look for the Cinderella project…“.
  • What happens in project X, Y and Z now?
    Individual project managers already have the knowledge of what happens in their projects, but when there are hundreds of projects, how can a manager get a quick view of them all without meeting all the project managers every time?
  • How can I contact person X to ask a short question?
    People are tired of needing to e-mail each other for everything, resulting in full inboxes where things high and low gather. They want a global chat, where they see who is online, so they can reach out when needed for those short questions. Several chat platforms are already used, but it requires you to know a) which platform person X uses, b) what their cryptic log-in name is (“Ah! So, shetlandsheepdog76 is you?”).
  • Sorting what I want to listen to
    People want to see only what is relevant to them instead of more generic send-outs via mail or global news lists. The intranet should tell me what is new – I don’t want to look for it.

To most people working with intranets, this is nothing new under the sun. Meanwhile, the interviews were informative and refreshing. And I believe they are at the core of what people expect from a modern workplace. The answers create a framework for the future development of our intranet, along all the functions we in the team or the users already have asked for. Therefore, I can highly recommend others to do the same.