In my experience you can have a great intranet with plenty of useful and relevant information but if your staff struggle to find what they need it’s virtually useless.
Something that clients often ask me is how they can help their staff to find intranet content. After all, one of the reasons for having an intranet is to enable employees to locate relevant information fast.
The answer lies in creating a folksonomy fitting to your organisation. Basically, this means your users tag all intranet content from blogs to documentation with words that make sense to them. Searching for content with words they’re already familiar with means they’ll be more likely to find what they need.
If you want to get your staff using your intranet on a continuous basis then you need to engage them. What better way than by encouraging your staff to tag content with words that are relevant to them? The strength of folksonomies is that they reflect the vocabulary of your users, whether that’s slang or jargon specific to an industry.
An additional benefit of folksonomies is the sense of community they create. Because employees tag content themselves, it gives them a sense of ownership, that their intranet really belongs to them.
Finally, don’t get hung up on whether your folksonomy is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. There’s no secret formula and different words will mean different things to every organisation. As long as your users are improving their search experience by tagging intranet content, you know you’re heading in the right direction.