IBF Live report: When should you delete intranet content?

October 4, 2012

Delete buttonBy Matt Wilson – Originally posed on Ragan.com.

How can you tell if something on your intranet is worth deleting?

The intranet team at international shipping company Maersk Line figured out a system for it, according to Lise Thygesen, the company’s intranet manager.

“A page can appear boring and still have a lot of visitors and positive comments,” she told the hosts of the October episode of the Digital Workplace Group’s IBF Live broadcast.

Maersk Line’s intranet, called Enable, aggregates quantitative and qualitative data-page views, comments, user feedback, clicks on “thumbs-up” and “thumbs-down” buttons at the bottom of each page—to determine just how popular particular pages are. On a metrics page that anyone in the company can access, employees can see a bar graph with three bars: promote, consider, and delete.

The promote bar shows the pages that are regularly updated, well liked and often visited, Thygesen said. The delete bar is for pages that are rarely updated and visited, and that get less-than-positive feedback. The bars are even color-coded.

“This is a way of managing the portal and the portal size, as well as usability,” she said.

Just because a page is in the delete pile doesn’t mean it gets chucked off the intranet immediately, Thygesen offered. Sometimes, pages simply get moved or reshuffled.

“People are often very scared of deleting,” she said. “We will never take away content that a department sees as relevant.”

Giovanni Piazza, global head of information and knowledge management at Johnson & Johnson, said using data is great, but the process needs a human touch, too, with tools such as an engagement index or a freshness index.

“The decision to remove data should be a little more user-centric,” he said.

Angela Sinickas, president of Sinickas Communications, said data should be put in context, too. Having a large number of employees on vacation could skew the numbers, for example.

Other topics discussed in this month’s episode included:

Mixing it up

Sinickas said page-view data isn’t a robust enough metric for intranet managers to use in making decisions. Managers should ask survey questions, too, to find out “to what extent internal communications changes people’s behavior.”

“Once you change your behavior, there’s a financial value to it,” she said.

Piazza agreed that measurement requires a mixture of the qualitative and the quantitative. When people lean too much on quantitative data, it often raises the question, “So what?” he argued.

He also said management should be clear about what it wants. General statements like, “I want to make sure we’re getting our money’s worth” don’t lead to positive change, Piazza said.

 A new style of newsletter

Maersk Line’s intranet has a section called Newsletter Central, which serves as a sort of clearinghouse for all the company’s digital newsletters.

“This was a drive to get the newsletters away from the inbox and onto the intranet,” Thygesen said.

She also aimed to bring some consistency to the look of each newsletter, so she and her team created the section where users can create documents by filling out templates. Users can simply fill in the gaps or customize their newsletters with pictures and graphics.

Each newsletter gets its own sub-site where employees can access it, she said.

Categorised in: Content management, ROI & Business Case

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