Intranetizen explained

We often get asked what the long term plan for intranetizen is. Tongue-in-cheek, we suspect a few consultants are slightly worried we might sneak on to their patch! But it’s a great question and one that we had struggled to answer. Recently, the team gathered to discuss our long range plan and in the spirit of transparency that we hope you’ve come to enjoy, we thought we’d share it here.

First then, a history lesson

In the beginning, there were just two of us: Luke and Jon, who both blogged independently on their views on intranets. The trouble then — and if both are honest, the trouble now — is that neither is particularly good at finishing well-intentioned ideas, and we both benefit from a strong, editing hand. Early posts were reasonable but far from honed, yet some, like our Top 10 Characteristics and Top 10 Laws remain ever popular. We also had complimentary skills and experiences, Luke coming to intranets from a user experience background and Jon from a project management and internal communications direction. We first met at a conference in Berlin in November 2010 and Intranetizen was born soon after.

Two became four

It was befitting that it was at another conference that Luke and Jon met up with Sharon and Dana and Intranetizen became a four. It was always our intention to increase our numbers: one post each per month with four writers translates to one post a week for readers. It’s a good number for post turnover and doesn’t require us to have awkward governance! Sharon and Dana have added so much to our team. Dana is a great writer, a great finisher of posts; Sharon a tremendous editor with an academic depth to her writing. Four works nicely.

No direction, no journey

As we wrote more, traffic grew and with it, interest in what Intranetizen was doing and where we were taking it. If we were honest, we were winging our answers because in all of our fun, we’d never taken the proper time out to review where we were heading. As we have written on countless occasions, it’s impossible to plan the journey if you’ve not really defined the destination.

Two weeks ago, the Intranetizen 4 met to figure out exactly that: Where are we taking this? What’s the point of us? This then, is Intranetizen explained.

Intranetizen explained: Our mission and vision

We exist to connect the disconnected community, to share, to learn and to transform the digital workplace profession. We help make intranets better, by championing the value intranets deliver for businesses, challenging current thinking, and by recognising the contributions of digital workplace professionals. Our vision is for global understanding of the profession and prestige for the individuals within.

Our aim, then, is three-fold: excellent intranets, brilliant intranet professionals and credibility for our profession. We do what we can through sharing, support and community building to help the individuals make better intranets.

Other organisations will celebrate the platform itself, such as IBF and StepTwo. We will do all we can to support them in that aim as it’s also ours. We do believe that people are what make excellent intranet projects and excellent intranets and we strongly believe that they — well, you! — are undervalued, under appreciated and if the head-hunter salary quotes are real, underpaid. We will champion you.

We also believe that our profession needs recognition. As our own Intranetizen journey has shown, we all come to these roles through a variety of paths from internal comms to IT; from HR to digital design. Most of us are here because we truly enjoy working in this profession, but what is it? What are we? We believe there’s a huge job to do to raise the profile of the profession that we work in and to get businesses to appreciate the experience you bring. We will champion our profession.


We always try to give an honest appraisal of our work through our posts and in that same spirit, we hope this open summary of our latest thinking will help. Frankly, we also hope you share our view that there’s a job to be done and that you put your trust in us to get it done! As ever, your input is what we want so, over to you. Let us know.

There are 5 comments

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  1. Christy Punch

    Thank you for keeping intranets and digital workplace discussions top of mind, and for encouraging intranet professionals like myself to think out-of-the-box and more strategically when it comes to our intranets.

    And thank you for recognizing the people from all professional backgrounds who rise to the rank of intranet manager – an often under prioritized, under budgeted, under resourced, and under recognized realm within organizations… especially more so here in the states where intranets are still underutilized.

    Keep up the good work and thanks again for sharing in the #intranet love! {digital high five}

  2. Dave

    thank you for sharing your navel gazing. it sounds to me like you’re on the same road (same journey?) that I’m on, and thus likely the same road that most intranet managers are on. In that sense i do agree there’s a job to be done to keep defining the profession (certainly it’s still undervalued most places I’ve had insight into) and based on your contributions to community thinking to date I’m definitely happy to think of you as champions.

    Talking about the community, to the community, won’t get us there so I’m very curious to see what may come out of your vision and mission of raising the profile of and getting recognition for the profession.

    Prestige for individuals is a tricky one. For example, if you started another award scheme and focused on people instead of platforms or ideas, how do you determine whether the manager who balanced complex relationships and built an ok-ish intranet is more or less successful than one who built a killer system but had carte blanche to do so?

    I’m sure you’re on the case!

    Keep challenging current thinking as you help us challenge our own.

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