Thursday, May 18, 2006

In defence

We've been doing a lot of work on getting people's things published. As the site structure gets looked at in detail by the people who's content we're publishing they start to think about it.

As they do you can see them go through a sort of digestion process. They see other parts of the site and wonder if they should be publishing their things elsewhere rather than where they are currently being put.

So we're defending the structure a lot at the moment and it's hard work.

It's really easy to wonder if it's wrong when so many people are asking questions about it.

But then after managing to successfully defend the placement of the information you're working on it solidifies the structure even further.

We're having to be really careful because we know that the structure is new and radically different to the old Intranet and people still aren't used to it. This is causing a lot of the occurences of the 'should this not go in a different section?' question.

We also know that some things may be in the wrong place and some things may need a different title because the structure is still settling and developing.

This is a hard time..... :(

Monday, May 08, 2006

So what's the plan now?

OK, so it's launched, it's been live for 3 months - just entering the 4th.

What next?

Keep it alive! Well, that's the idea at least.

We've had a bit of an unfocussed period

Everyone involved in the new news publishing process was getting used to it. It's really been a case of tweaking it as we go along for that. It has got a lot better. More refined, less re-writing and more actual editing in the editing phase and advance preparation of content.

Having an application that allows the news publication to be scheduled has made this much easier. We knew before having this that we needed to be preparing content well in advance but it was difficult to find the time to do it as some time had to be given to actually publishing the item - and remembering to do it on the relevant day.

Now that we have a system which allows you to publish an article and schedule when it appears we can write, review, edit and publish all prior to the publication date.

The feedback systems are also working. Although people don't make a lot of noise, generally only saying something when something goes wrong or is misreported, at least now they can and they do.

But it's taken a lot of guidance and support from us to get to here. And that has taken time.

We have also been swamped by the amount of content that we're dealing with.

The content owners have never had to prepare their content for publication in this way. On the old Intranet things either got published as they were - in office document format - or were prepared in FrontPage. Usually by someone who knew that this needed to be public but didn't know how or have the time to present it for on-screen publication.

This means all of the 'static' content needs to be prepared. This means collaborating with the content owners to make the necessary amendments.

Some people have taken to this quite quickly and easily, for others it's just not possible with their workloads.

Also, some people still haven't realised the potential of the Intranet.

I know it's up to us to promote it and educate people on its potential.

At the moment we're facing a long list of content to be prepared and published plus general tidying and maintenance, enhancements and future developments. With only one web designer and a colleage and manager working on it this is making very, very slow progress.

We have enough work to employ a content developer full time but for various reasons we can't.

So back into the pile we go...

Friday, May 05, 2006


There's been some discussion in various areas recently about names to call the Intranet. That's brand names not rude names... ;o)

I thought I'd make a note here of why we haven't given ours a name because I don't think I have....

We did discuss this and decided against a brand name because:
  • We would have like to choose one by running a competition - there wasn't time!
  • The old Intranet had been named by running a competition and ended up with a name that the majority of people hated.
  • The old newsletter had been named by running a competition - the 'non-process' that surrounded this publication was something everyone hated.
So, to avoid being associated with the old things and because there wasn't time we decided not to run a competition at that time.

That was with regard to the old Intranet and news.

What about the new Intranet?

The new one is radically different to the old one and we knew it would take people a long time to get the old one out of their heads so establishing a brand name for something which had no identity yet was going to be very difficult, if not impossible.

So that's why it's currently just called 'the Intranet'.