Friday, August 23, 2002

Radio as an Intranet

I’m meeting later on today with one of our IT guys to try and pitch Radio as the preferred method of contributing content to our soon-to-be-re-released (!) intranet. We are a software company, but like most software companies I’ve been a part of, internal technology is not often a focus. We concentrate on technology for our customers – in development, Q&A, support – but rarely spend much time thinking about how technology can help us improve our own business, our own jobs.

I hope to change that. To that end, I’m open to any suggestions. Anyone have any words of wisdom in explaining the merits of blogs for internal knowledge sharing? (I’m familiar with John Robb’s group at Yahoo.) Mostly, I want to hear from folks who’ve explained blogs to newbies – and earned their endorsement.

Update: I posted earlier this week about Radio’s “Categories” feature. Their most useful characteristic is that you can create a separate template for the category – completely changing the look and feel of the weblog page. I helped Ernie do this a few weeks ago (he’ll start using Radio to maintain the news page for his law firm shortly – except that visitors will just see a page that looks like the rest of the firm web site), and I took about twenty minutes this morning to mock up what an intranet page might look like for us. I took the HTML from our web site, deleted some of the content and added two Radio macros – one to insert the body text (which renders each blog post) and the other which draws the blog calendar (an archive of past posts).

If you’re publishing the page to a different server, you simply need to create a separate “upstream.xml“ file – which tells Radio to send your content to a server other than your blog’s server. As a result, I expect that I will be able to post to my company’s intranet (via ftp) using Radio categories. Radio will handle the formatting, linking, and uploading of the posts. I hope this helps “sell” the idea internally.

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