I was talking with a client last week about how they could enable different parts of the organization to provide RSS news feeds for their SharePoint portal. I said it was as simple as using the SharePoint blog template.
Thatâ€™s right, use the blog template, but donâ€™t call it a blog. Use it to deliver the news. It generates a feed you can then surface in many different places. Not to mention it makes it easy for employees to subscribe and pay attention to the news they can really use.
â€œYou can do that?â€ the client said. â€œYou can use a blog for something else?â€
Wake up people! How many times have we seen one technology leveraged in multiple ways? Is it hard to do this with social technology because weâ€™ve named them individually? And it shall be called â€œblog,â€ and we shalt use it only for â€œblogging.â€ Whatever. Use it to fit the need.
This of course means you must have a need, know what the need is and be able to define its requirements. Then, you have got to get the people in your organization thinking upside down about the potential tools and solutions.
Don’t let others limit your thinking here. And, look for ways to connect the different technologies â€“ sometimes they are stronger when integrated. So, you might use a microblogging channel to promote an upcoming virtual employee seminar that will be live blogged by a favorite internal blogger.
Here’s another cool example I recently ran across. Use a wiki to allow people across the organization to contribute “how-tos” of all types. If you establish this in a template format, you can publish a navigation list almost anywhere in your intranet. Want to know how to request a new piece of software? Go to the how-to navigation list. Want to know how to add your new spouse to your health plan? Go to the how-to navigation list. Every part of the organization would have how-tos to contribute.
Best part is you don’t have to even tell anyone it’s wiki technology. It’s not important. In fact, I take personal glee in convincing others to use social technologies without ever once using their “official” moniker. What’s important is that you solved a need â€“ allowing everyone to contribute to the age old question “how do I…”