Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Glass Door

This is not about the ubiquitous 'glass ceiling', so you can breathe a sigh of relief -- I've got a feminism diatribe bubbling up inside me that I'll save for another post. This is about information management again, sort of.

Years ago I saw a demo of an in-production collaboration tool much like SharePoint. One of the things that struck me was how each 'site' had two views -- one was public facing and the other view was for those who belonged to the group. They called it a glass-door. You can see what's posted on our door and even look through the glass to see what we are up to, but we're not exposing you to all of the crap WIP material. Sure, you had to write special content for it, but you didn't have to maintain two separate sites. Brilliant.

When I look at our own Intranet site I'm disgusted. We're the flippin' IT group people! There is no information on who we are, what services we provide and how to use them, how to get in touch with us, what training is available, what projects we're working on, what their status is, what systems we support, what our technical environment is, what our priorities or strategic direction is .... I'm starting to get really pissed off as I type this. Bloody hell! DOESN'T ANYBODY THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO MARKET YOURSELF? I don't understand what the problem is. Technical people can't write? We're stiffled by perfectionism? We really don't know what we do and it changes all the time so we can't put it in writing? Wait -- maybe if we say it out loud, we might have to be accountable for it! JESUS!

I want to sit down and do this myself. Of course it's likely to be received with complete disdain because a) it is not my job b) nobody thinks it's worth doing. I don't want to work for an organization that can't sell itself. "Who are you, what do you do, and (most importantly) what can you do for me?" Everyone should be able to answer those questions in 100 words or less dia- bon!

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