In reality, some days are so hectic that I’m unable to sort and prioritize my tasks. Those are the days when I find myself just reacting and communicating. And the whole beautiful system I’ve just described falls apart. I tend to ignore scenarios like this and just start working. At the top of my list is the creation of a content marketing concept. It’s going well and we want more of it. This is to be my key task for the day.

It’s clear to me, however, that I’m dealing with a major undertaking here. Lots of employees, entire teams, and different disciplines will need to get involved. And I already know that the old swashbuckler – meaning me – won’t be able to deal with everything effectively on his own. So, I need a place for my ideas (you can hardly call it a concept at the start anyway). Somewhere in the company that is openly accessible and where my coworkers can contribute.

This eliminates one scrap of paper right from the start. And it would only be suitable for the first twenty minutes or so at best anyway, or for the first two hours if I work in a highly concentrated manner. But I don’t get an uninterrupted two hours of work done during my normal working day anyway. So I forget about working on paper, because I know I won’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of scanning my notes in any way. Better for me are tools that I can use in short bursts, but over longer periods of time, for bringing my ideas together on a topic. 

In our world, these tools come in the form of Google Docs (the modern equivalent to Microsoft Word from the Office 365 suite) or simply a wiki page, which we set up based on Atlassian Confluence on our intranet. Both have advantages. For a long-term concept, a wiki is much more suitable, however. 

But let’s assume that I’m out of the office. I only have my smartphone with me and I’m sitting on a bus. (This happens more frequently since we introduced a job ticket (free bus rides at a very very low rate) at the company.) Then I write the first lines and thoughts in a Google Doc. The mobile app is cool and even works without an internet connection. As soon as I’m at my desktop, I copy the new text into my wiki page.

I’ve covered in detail elsewhere why such a simple wiki page with a preceding Google Doc makes an intranet stand out so well. Here’s the link so you can take a look:

Here, it’s important for me to show how diverse my use of tools is: I create and manage the task in Jira. I begin writing the text in Google Docs. I then transfer it to a wiki page in Confluence on my desktop. There, we already have three different tools that are indispensable for my digital workplace. Ha-ha, yes, I can even print out a bingo card for you if you like!

Anyway, these three tools are just a beginning. In total, there are probably around fifty different software systems that I use at the company. And people who work at larger companies probably need more. So, quit looking for a single solution that can do everything for you. This is simply unattainable and will only end up in tears.

But back to my concept, which is now on the wiki page. So, why a wiki page? The list of pros is long. But let’s start with the cons just for fun.

“A wiki? No, don’t need one. We’re a real company.” Asked whether they wanted a wiki-based intranet, one of our customers once responded to one of our Linchpin partners with similar words. This is actually a reasonable and appropriate question. Because even though Atlassian likes to sell its Confluence software under the moniker of “team collaboration software,” essentially, it is just a wiki. Okay, let’s say “enterprise wiki” to point out its main application in a company. But a wiki is still a wiki. And that reminds the senior company management of Wikipedia, the anarchic, decentralized lexicon run by an enormous number of nerds and thousands of individuals. Does that match the image you have of your company? No way! It may be true that companies exist that are organized decentrally. But ours is not one of them. To a large extent at our company, central senior management still controls the direction everything takes. So, we don’t need a wiki.

That sounded absurd to me for a long time. Yet by now, I know that people at a lot of companies think the same way. Let me explain why you should decide on a wiki if your company has central management structures. And I want to show you why a wiki beats Office 365 Word documents or Google Docs. In fact, you don’t even need Confluence for that. Almost any other wiki can do the trick too. 

Link to this page:

The Social Intranet

Foster collaboration and strengthen communication. Be effective with enterprise intranets mobile and in the cloud.

Virtual Collaboration in Companies: Social Intranets as a Digital Home 

Never before has the business world been so overrun by cloud software and specialized vendors as it is now. There is so much software out there that it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of things. It is all the more important for the future of work to have a place for digital meeting - a reliable home port meaningfully networked with numerous other systems that makes it quick and easy to navigate. This will increase transparency in the company and make collaboration more effective. Based on many years of experience, this book tells you how it already works in today's digitalized world and which trends you probably should rather than shouldn't follow.

About the author

Martin Seibert was 17 when he founded the software company Seibert Media. Twenty-four years later, it has nearly 200 employees and generates 35 million euros in annual sales. He has been sharing his enthusiasm for technology in YouTube videos for many years - and now also in his new book about social intranets.

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This content was last updated on 03/31/2021.

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