ThoughtFarmer, SharePoint, Wikis, and the lack of good intranet software
by Chris McGrath | Apr 4, 2006
There is a lack of good intranet software in the world.
Microsoft SharePoint is the most common intranet platform I encounter, but not because it's good. Out-of-the-box SharePoint is a nightmare from the user's perspective, and customizing it to make it usable is near impossible. I've been asked to consult on more failed SharePoint implementations than on any other type of intranet.
Wikis are being used successfully on intranets by some IT workgroups, and they work well for collaborative authoring. But as the main engine for a corporate intranet, most wikis fall short. Non-technical users struggle with content editing, and their inherent lack of structure devolves into chaos.
What do we need out of intranet software, anyway? The Intranet Review Toolkit helps identify some basic needs:
Scalable, fast-loading home page with useful content
Search with prioritized, easy-to-scan results
Consolidated organizational news, with an archive of older articles
Searchable, sortable corporate staff directory
Easy-to-edit, easy-to-navigate content pages
Sounds easy. So why isn't there more intranet software that does a bang-up job delivering on these basic needs?
I have no idea.
That's why my friends at OpenRoad and I have spent the last 9 months developing ThoughtFarmer, Wiki-inspired software built just for intranets.
Check it out: thoughtfarmer.com
ThoughtFarmer installs on the corporate network. It's built on a Microsoft .Net/SQL platform. And it makes it ridiculously easy to build a usable, useful intranet.
The intranet software landscape just improved. Let me know what you think.