“Not all intranets are communities and not all communities are intranets.”
One of the audience members at KA Connect 2014 asked the following question of the Orchestrating Digital Communities session panel:
“Would you define an intranet as a community? And if not, can you migrate an intranet to a community?”
After agreeing that that “Not all intranets are communities and not all communities are intranets,” the panel discussed the differences between analog communities, digital communities, and intranets.
One interesting outcome of the discussion was two ways to tell if intranets are communities or simply information repositories.
#1: “The most vibrant communities that we work with within intranets were already communities before they became communities on the intranet.”
“You tap into existing groups that are already sharing knowledge, they’re already coming together, and you just give them digital tools. But they still keep meeting face-to-face.”
Christopher Parsons, Knowledge Architecture
#2: “If there are shared aspirations or shared goals.”
“I put the definition of community slide up [above] in my presentation, so as long as you’re sort of satisfying those [criteria] in some form or fashion, I think one can sort of fashion a level of activity around that. But if it’s [simply] an intranet space to just post information—you have an HR site that lays out all the policies or whatever, that’s an informational repository as opposed to a community.”
Robert Yori, SOM