The four purposes of an Intranet

James Robertson (Step Two Designs) has an interesting post on "the four purposes of an Intranet" on his Column Two blog. After doing years of research on Intranet he's come up with these four:
  1. Content
  2. Communication
  3. Collaboration
  4. Activity
He discusses each of these in his presentation (with audio). Furthermore he also explains what most Intranets are about and what most Intranet are (wrongly) not focusing enough on.
I think these four purposes are well chosen. However, without wanting to be picky, I think 'content' in itself is not a purpose. Shouldn't it be something like: 'sharing content centrally'? I would call 'Content' an essential building block, but not a goal.
The same goes for 'collaboration'. I wouldn't call this a 'purpose'. For me the purpose of an intranet would be 'to encourage and support collaboration'.
If my slight changes to these purposes are correct, then 'activity' is something inherent to the redefined purposes. Content, communication and collaboration are indeed nothing without activity!


  1. Reminds me of the model in this paper, Stenmark, D. (2001). "The Relationship between Information and Knowledge". In Proceedings of IRIS-24 , Ulvik, Norway, August 11-14. Talks about:
    - Information space
    - Communicatin space
    - Awareness space
    - Collaboration space

  2. Hmm, interesting. Thanks for the pointer.


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