I  read an excellent article by Laurie Buczek on her “Beyond the Cube” blog. The article is linked below in case you have not yet read it. Laurie talks about the struggles of social adoption within the enterprise, and when I finished it, I had to sit for a few minutes to absorb it. She is so right.

Social intranets are still struggling with going mainstream. We see it all the time being a vendor of social intranet software. Customers and prospects mostly answer that they are “happy to hear I have social networking but how do I turn it off?”

Jumping into social networking for the enterprise is a challenge and often requires a major shift in culture for an organization. A great piece of advice I took away from a webinar was to focus social interactions around a business goal or campaign. Leverage the use of social tools to facilitate business.

I would like to think that social is a stepping stone to something greater, and that the intranet of tomorrow will not have social as the ultimate destination but rather it be a part of the journey.

Traditional intranets have a bad rap for being a dumping ground of stale data that no one uses or trusts that it is relevant or accurate. Re-focusing intranets to be centered on people rather than data has moved intranets to be a more reliable center of knowledge. But eventually what do you do with all of that social business conversation? We thought the volume of published content on traditional intranets was hard to sift through, imagine trying to find a piece of information through 1000′s of archived tweets or wall posts.

James Robertson of Step Two Designs published a blog series about the future of intranets and it was fascinating to read about his vision on how a new employee would interface with the intranet during their first day on the job. Future Scenario: Starting a New Job.

If social is a stepping stone then what is next for social intranets? It’s not social that will fully transform our intranets but automated personalization and mobile will begin to drive that trend. Mobile will start to focus us on surfacing what is the most important tasks for the end-user and offering those tasks front and center no matter where, or what device, they are accessing the intranet.

Check out Laurie Buczek’s article The Big Failure of Enterprise 2.0 Social Business

Would you agree? What do you envision for the future of social intranets?

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