Educating the Black Belt Intranet User

Educating the Black Belt Intranet User

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The idea of a Black Belt-Programme for intranet editors is to make the usage of intranets as taken for granted as the usage of pencils. Users should not only know how to use intranets, but also how they work, what the reasons for common problems are and how they can be solved – before calling the support and especially before blaming someone.

  • # 1 is to create a culture of trial and error. It’s ok to be wrong – as long as it gives your ideas on where to look next for solution.
  • Every application is designed to be understood. Intranets or contentmanagement systems are not designed to keep secrets, to be be public and accessible – so there is not reason why you should not understand it.
  • That presupposes a culture of responsibility and independence. You can only understand, what you want to understand, and you ony want to understand, if you care for your work.
  • You have to show that participation is welcome. As authors, via comments, as frequent readers. Don’t show it only once with an initial introduction – it has to be repeated over and over again.
  • Training is more than the technical part. If you want mature online users, they have to know more than where to click and how to tweak workarounds. They have to understand processes, and they may need some guidance in online-authorship and online-behaviour.
  • Develop an online media strategy. And make sure it considers participation – users cannot understand what is simply not there…
  • Make sure you and your users can handle criticism. Getting many comments, suggestions for improvement and critical hints are not indicating that you were wrong – but that your topic is interesting…

“I’m not so in to tech” – that’s not an excuse or a tolerable statement. There is only one answer to it: “Go out and learn some…” – Your editors should not be considered as typing nerds, but as creative media strategists.
Board blogs can be a great catalyst in this regard: First, having a board members using your contentmanagement system forces you to create something decent. Second – if a board member can handle this, there are definitely no excuses anymore for everybody else.


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