Thursday, July 23, 2009

Different types of content

Mark Morrell of BT has an interesting post on the different types of intranet content they distinguish. I commented on this post, but would like to extend my comment here.

Mark distinguishes between personal, crowd, team and formal content. I commented:

Interesting post! What I was wondering is: is this list right? For you I understand it is. But can’t ‘team’ content be ‘formal’ for instance? And isn’t ‘personal’ a security issue? For instance, I’m working on some content I don’t want to share yet (so it’s personal), but in time it will be in the category ‘crowd’? I’ll blog about this and tell you what my categories are. Thanks for sparking this discussion.

I'm curious if you agree with my remarks. Do you make different distinctions?

Anyway, I think it's great BT is distinguishing between content. I find that lots of content that is now on intranets shouldn't be their anyway. And I see that BT is not only making this distinction but also providing different applications to create and share the content (blog, wiki, CMS, etc.).

As information architect I also distinguish information types. My list is:

  1. product info (product data, specs, competitor info, etc.)
  2. project info (tasks, calendars, meeting minutes, etc.)
  3. department info (presentations, etc.)
  4. process info (process descriptions, working methods, templates, etc.)

What we're seeing now is that our intranet contains all kinds of info. I find our intranet (traditional CMS with 1-to-many publish method) should only contain process information. Process information incorporates news and who-is-who info as well.

All these info types can be given authorization levels, allowing certain information to be kept personal or shared within a team or project.

Does this make sense? Again, do you distinguish between information types and manage them differently?

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