Sunday, November 19, 2006

Andrew McAfee highlights a nice Mediawiki-based intranet

As y‘all know I think MediaWiki is a major piece of software, and that the network effect for its use is too strong to ignore. Andrew McAfee takes you through the use of MediaWiki at Avenue A | Razorfish: Now THAT's What I'm Talking About!. Lots of gems in this piece and a nice shoutout for a wiki done right. I love the tag cloud and integration. Very sweet! Check it out…

Highly popular, and highly useful. I find that the sites I visit most often these days are ones that give me ‘the latest.‘ They help me stay on top of (or at least feel like I‘m staying on top of) the world, the blogosphere, and my personal network of people and content. This page does the same thing at the company level for AARF employees. It gives them ‘the latest‘ about their work environment. And it does so in a bottom-up and egalitarian fashion. This page doesn‘t contain the latest information that the company‘s senior managers, or its IT staffers, think employees should know about; it contains the latest information that employees think employees should know about.

But what about navigating all the rest of AARF‘s Intranet content? Shouldn‘t the home page help with that? If that search box in the upper left works well enough, it does. I believe the Googlers when they say “search is the navigation paradigm.” I bet that most people at AARF can quickly get where they want on the Intranet if they start at this page and type a few words into the box.

Search? Isn‘t that the way it is done in late 2006? I didn‘t think this was even an item for discussion any longer. People kill these sites when they try to over-engineer the navigation. Users of a site need to make their own meaning. (Thank you David Weinberger!) The more you try to help the worse you make it for everyone.

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