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In a nutshell, we merged IBF and DWF into one service and changed our name to "Digital Workplace Group." The new name represents the broader set of services we've grown to offer, beyond an original focus on just intranets. We also changed the name of our monthly webinar from "IBF Live" to "Digital Workplace Live."

Although we've relabelled things, we're proud of our decade+ history and have left this page intact. Enjoy your time on our site and please contact us with any questions or comments.

I post this with a degree of trepidation, as there will be one group who groan the The Cluetrain Manifesto is old hat, even if they support it (it was written in 1999). However, I also talk to plenty of people in corporate life that have not heard of it, so I think its worth reminding those active in Intranets to take another look.

It consists of 95 Theses, that begin:

  1. Markets are conversations.
  2. Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors.
  3. Conversations among human beings sound human. They are conducted in a human voice…

The tone is full of attitude (sometimes overbearingly so), but it also  beautifully encapsulates the attitude of Web 2.0. If you’re trying to introduce e.g. blogging into your organisation and meeting resistance, then it gives voice to all some of the fears that may underly it. One set of theses speaks directly about intranets:

42. As with networked markets, people are also talking to each other directly inside the company—and not just about rules and regulations, boardroom directives, bottom lines.

43. Such conversations are taking place today on corporate intranets. But only when the conditions are right.

44. Companies typically install intranets top-down to distribute HR policies and other corporate information that workers are doing their best to ignore.

45. Intranets naturally tend to route around boredom. The best are built bottom-up by engaged individuals cooperating to construct something far more valuable: an intranetworked corporate conversation.

46. A healthy intranet organizes workers in many meanings of the word. Its effect is more radical than the agenda of any union.

47. While this scares companies witless, they also depend heavily on open intranets to generate and share critical knowledge. They need to resist the urge to "improve" or control these networked conversations.

If you find that useful, I’d also recommend  Hugh Macleod‘s piece that relates the Cluetrain Manifesto to corporate blogging.

About the author

Nancy Goebel - DWG's Managing Director for Member & Benchmarking ServicesNancy Goebel is the Digital Workplace Group’s Managing Director, Member Services & Strategic Partnerships.

During her tenure with DWG, Nancy has been involved in account management, benchmarking, research, blogging and executive producing Digital Workplace Live and DW 24.

Prior to joining the Digital Workplace Group, Nancy was a accomplished executive at JPMorgan Chase where she built and led a global team in desigining and implementing an award-winning intranet. She also led digital enablement and business re-engineering initiatives.

Outside work, Nancy is a wine maker, fundraiser, meditator, wife and mother of two.

Connect with Nancy on Twitter: @nancyatdwg or on Google +.

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