Diamond Awards are a girl’s best friend!

Diamond Award

To my immense delight and surprise I have won IntranetNow’s Diamond Award for 2017!

Delight, because it is a huge shiny diamond with an inscription. Oh, and I rather like winning ūüôā

Surprise, because compared to some of the nominees, my blogs are rather down-to-earth and practical, and my video collection is frankly just picking and posting and anyone could have done it. Don’t you dare, though ūüôā
Other nominees¬†publish posts with far more depth and thoughts than my “click here and check box”¬† posts. I would have voted for someone else, to be honest.

Not that I am complaining!

Apparently my blog has “explored SharePoint permissions, intranet features and the practice of intranet management for over six years, in an accessible and often fun manner.”

It has set me thinking: “why do I do this”?

  1. From an early age I have liked writing, but it took me a while to find my topic.
    I like shaping an idea into a post, to discover the different angles to a story, trying to find out what point I am actually trying to make, and trying to write as concisely as possible.
  2. Although everyone appears to be using SharePoint and Office365 these days, everyone has a different Office365 positioning, implementation and governance. In the admin console alone there are a ton of settings and boxes to check and make your setup just a little different from others.
    Through sharing my experiences I may be able to help others because there are so many things to know and find out.
    It is why I also like to read other people’s blogs – they help me understand things or solve user issues.
  3. It serves as my¬†personal notebook. Sometimes I have to re-read my own blogs to avoid having to do a lot of experiments again. It must be age ūüôā
  4. My video collection was supposed to be a one-time blog post, but it unexpectedly hit the sweet spot with a lot of people so I though it might be nice to expand. But seriously, it was not planned.

Thank you very much, Wedge Black, Brian Lamb and everyone who was involved in the judging!

Updated Monday October 9: Hmm…Wedge has asked me to link to the IntranetNow site which features an announcement and a video of my acceptance speech. I was actually trying to avoid that ūüôā

Title inspired by…do I really have to explain that?¬†

Advertisements

350 intranet promotion videos!

350 videosRecently I passed the 350 mark in my collection of intranet and Yammer promotion videos. Time for another modest celebration!

New trends

More and more intranets are promoting a section for video content, so I guess this is a new trend.
Otherwise,¬†“simplification” and “user feedback”¬†still¬†play an important role in every¬†relaunch, and so they should ūüôā .
Also, more and more intranets (but not all!) are social, and “usable on all devices” is starting to be¬†the norm, rather than the exception.

Of course my collection is meant for your information and amusement, but I occasionally hear that people are using it as a serious starting point for their own video. In general, I can suggest the following steps:

1. Check what related organizations have done

Use the filter and see what¬†your industry peers are doing, and what their intranets look like, if the video shows that. Most selections¬†contains a variety of styles (talking heads, animations, demo’s, stories, serious, funny, etc. ) that may give you ideas about the sort of video you would like to create.

2. Determine your boundaries

Watch my list of rather extreme videos. Do you also want to create a full movie, a very silly video, have a hysterical voice-over, or would you rather stay on safer ground?

3. Watch metaphors for solving common business issues

If you are looking for metaphors of solving common business problems such as too many emails, or not knowing where the expertise is in your company, this selection may help you on your way.

4. When in doubt, create a demo

A well-made demo is always worth the investment, so if you have no other needs or wishes, a demo may be the best way moving forward.

  • you can show employees how to work with the intranet, reducing the need for extensive classroom or webinar training
  • you can show employees how they are supposed to work, if a new way of working is¬†among your goals for the new intranet. In a demo video it can be done subtly and matter-of-fact.
  • it can be used for onboarding new employees for a long time after the launch
  • if you share it, we can see your intranet! ūüôā

This is my selection of good demos.

I hope you can use these tips to create your own video. And please remember to put it online for others to enjoy!

It never ceases to amaze and delight me that so many people enjoy my videos. I even got sort of suggested for the Diamond Award of IntranetsNow 2017!

Treat!

And finally, to celebrate,¬†I have a very special video:¬†the one that was made to celebrate the launch of the new intranet of my former employer Sara Lee, in 2005. It has not been added to my collection yet – you saw it here first! It is “vintage”, so please ignore the bad quality ūüôā

And then to think this all started as a whimsical blog post!

Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net (“350” added by me)

300! (intranet promotion videos)

300-videosAfter some additions and, sadly, some weeding of videos that were deleted or put behind a password, I have finally crossed the 300-line!!!

Some things that have happened since my last video update:

  • You can now easily reach my video collection via http://ellenvanaken.video
  • The Scoop.It app for iOS shows all videos that do not like to be embedded, so if you hate that mention, use the app. (It is where my collection lives)
  • Some time ago I created a¬†selection of videos for a company, as inspiration for their own video.
    If I can help you with something similar, please get in touch!
  • Martin White (@intranetfocus) has just mentioned me & my collection¬†in his post about “some of the people who in various ways and for many years have transformed our understanding of intranets, team working and digital workplaces through publishing reports and promulgating good practice and who have to make a living whilst doing so.” I’m ever so chuffed!
  • Singapore’s public sector will start using Workplace by Facebook as their digital workplace. This will replace The Cube, which sported¬†two promotion videos that I rather liked. So, before these are withdrawn, please have a look:

 

 

And remember, if you know a nice intranet or Yammer promotion video, or if you notice that one of my collected items is no longer publicly available, please let me know!

Image created by myself, typeface Snap ITC.

Yammer Groups videos

YammerVideoI wish that Microsoft would create a Yammer training video whenever the interface changed. Yammer works exactly the same for all of us, so it would be nice if we all did not have to reinvent that wheel.

What differs between customers, apart from the masthead they use, is their reasons for using Yammer. This results in very interesting case-studies of the benefits Yammer can bring in that organization. I have already highlighted a few in my earlier post, and I will continue to add those to my collection.

But there are¬†different themes for Yammer videos than demo’s or teasers.

This hilarious video from Virgin Trains tries to stimulate the use of Yammer Groups as opposed to the All Company Network.

By the way, their Yammer launch video (and the case study: getting an alpaca out of the train) is also worth watching!

And this set of 3 videos are about Community Management. They compare a Yammer Group to a party, with¬†guidelines to match. I love the analogy, I love the¬†characters,¬†I love the warning at the beginning, and I want that Bat-device! ūüôā

Part 1: Starting Out

 

Part 2: Managing and Maintaining

 

Part 3: Promoting and Expanding

Although the look-and-feel may not be suitable for use in every organization, the recommendations at the end of every video are solid and helpful for all of us who have a role in managing communities on Yammer (or other enterprise social networks, of course).

It’s discovering videos like these that make collecting intranet videos so much fun!

By the way, you can filter on “Yammer”¬† in my collection to see all Yammer-related videos. And as always, please let me know if you know any good additions!

Celebrating more than 200 intranet promotion videos!

FireworksUsually my intranet videos deal with a new or revamped intranet. This time I am getting a little meta by sharing some videos about celebrating the launch of the intranet itself.
I think having more than 200 videos in my collection is cause for a celebration. When I started my first investigation I was surprised to find more than 30 of the kind. But new ones are being uploaded every week and I have a backlog, so I think we will reach 300 soon! That is, if they are not withdrawn faster than I can upload ūüôā

Not every¬†organization can do this, of course. If you are a dispersed company it will be impossible¬†to get everyone in one place to¬†serve¬†pastries with the intranet’s name on it. (Yes, this appears to be a theme). Perhaps you can have a webcast and have some non-perishable goodies distributed¬†in time.

This one is from Skanska, a building and construction company from Sweden. Watch the cupcakes!

A similar one from KEARN, a Dutch health and social services organization. It is in Dutch but you will get the idea. There are special “intranet-ladies” that help you walk through the intranet, and there are pastries with the logo.

This intranet is celebrating its first anniversary! It is more a case study than a launch party, but I wanted to include it because celebrating and evaluating are a sign that the intranet is important. Especially after the first year you will be able to extract many lessons!
This intranet has won awards, an extra reason to celebrate.
EDP is an energy company.

I hope these examples will inspire you to make (and share!) a video of your intranet launch party as well!
See my complete collection here.

Image courtesy of satit_srihin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Yammer promotion videos

YammerVideoMy latest post triggered the question:
“Do organizations create separate promotion or instruction videos for their Yammer rollout?”

Yes, they do.

So…they are now in my collection, tagged with Yammer.

I have found many that just demonstrate the standard functionalities. I think that is a waste of effort, since there are plenty of tutorial materials around.
Therefore I have focused on videos that are specific to an organization, that  demonstrate how you can use Yammer within your team, with your specific issues. Those add real value, because demonstrating a case that people can relate to, is a good way to make people understand the benefits of Yammer.

These are my favourites:

Qantas

This is more like a teaser, informing catering employees how to use a specific Yammer group to collaborate with internal and external partners.

Friesland Campina

This one has some very company-specific “dairy ingredients”, but is¬†suitable¬†as a starting point for ¬†many large multinational organizations.

VerizonWireless

Tongue-in-cheek animation about project management in Yammer and the power of Yammer topics. I must admit that I was not aware of all functionalities of Yammer topics so I learned something new!

I am sure I will be adding to my collection over time. And as always, if you know another promotion video for my collection, please share the link!

7 trends in intranet promotion videos – and their intranets

VideoTrends-CamThis is the written version of part of my talk at Intra Team Event 2015 in Copenhagen.

I have been collecting intranet promotion videos for about 3 years now, and over time I have seen changes in the videos and in the intranets they feature. So it is about time for a trends post!
Remember that I am not a communications or video expert; I am rather an experienced user who has watched several hundreds of these videos in the past few years.

So here’s my take on things:

1. From ‚Äúspace‚ÄĚ to ‚Äúconnect‚ÄĚ.
Intranet promotion videos appear to have grown up. The earliest examples often featured a space theme: the Galaxy, Thunderbirds,StarWars. At that time, an intranet may have looked very advanced and out of this world. Today, we see professional companies making these movies, and the theme is more towards ‚Äúconnecting‚ÄĚ employees with each other and the company.

This is an example from 2012, for Thunderbirds fans!


2. From static newsletter to interactive multi-purpose platform.
We all know this, of course, but it reflects in the videos. Most intranets these days are a place to do your work and keep connected to your colleagues. The static corporate news finally gets a less prominent space on the homepage.

3. Some topics are evergreen.
Several concepts keep coming back, such as:

  • 24/7 availability, working across time zones, access on multiple devices,¬†any place¬†any time
  • One version of the truth, centralized source of information, real-time (document) collaboration
  • Finding and connecting with colleagues and their expertise
  • Avoiding redundancy/working in silos, stimulating ‚Äúworking out loud‚ÄĚ, sharing knowledge

There are also some minor recurring topics, such as company reorganizations or mergers, that warrant a new intranet, but these are of course very company-specific.
If you are creating your own video and looking to visualize those concepts, please take a look at my collection, especially the Animations. Many of those concepts have been done very nicely already.

This one below, for instance, shows “24/7 availability” and “working across time zones”:

While this one below nicely shows “real-time collaboration”

CoSMos from Skrudge on Vimeo.

4. Multi-device, not specific for smartphone.
Many intranets claim that they are accessible from any device, and show images of desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone. However, I have not found any videos showing or mentioning specific functionalities or apps to be used on smartphone when ‚Äúon the go”, or for colleagues who do not normally work in an office with a PC.¬†Perhaps a responsive design is considered to be sufficient?

5. Intranet, not digital workplace.
Searching for new videos with keyword¬† “digital workplace” rarely leads to the desired result. The videos that I am looking for are still tagged “intranet” and deal with the ‚Äėbranded internal website‚ÄĚ, not with the complete aggregation of branded and native tools and platforms. (for instance chat and teleconferencing tools, email, special applications)

This one is an exception, and although I love it, it is very much IT-focused and not very tailored to the end-user.

Digital Workplace from Home Retail Group on Vimeo.

6. Log-in still needed.
I would have expected single-sign-on everywhere by now, but I still see many log-ons. There are some cases where I can explain this:

  • Several videos have been uploaded by external agencies, and they may need a log-in because they are not employees.
  • I also have several videos for franchise organizations (real-estate, fast food chains) or universities or high schools where partners and students have not been given company email accounts. So perhaps my videos are a little biased towards ‚Äúnon-employees‚ÄĚ.
  • I have also seen some log-ins to Office365 intranets. I can only hope that they are working on SSO and that it is only a matter of time :-).

7. Relaunch often means: simplification
In 2014 I suddenly noticed several videos for a relaunched intranet, with the explicit message that the intranet had been simplified, decluttered, easier to use. Also at other events I have often heard about ‚Äúremoving thousands of outdated webpages‚ÄĚ, ‚Äúsimplifying navigation‚ÄĚ, etc.
I think this is the result of a learning curve: in the early days we thought we needed to move all information to the intranet, while we now know that only a small amount of information is really useful for employees, and some things are done better via the enterprise social network, a 1-on-1 chat, dedicated applications or email.
I am afraid it will be some time before intranets and all employee tools will be as simple, well-designed and easy-to-use as e-commerce sites, but I hope intranets are on their way.

Please use the filter Simplification on my collection. I am currently retagging all videos. .

What is your opinion?
Can you spot these trends and have you noticed any others? Or even better, do you have any videos to add to my collection?

Image courtesy of Idea go at FreeDigitalPhotos.net