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Intranets: Why they're here to stay

This was the title of the Inmagic company newsletter from May 1997. And 13 years later, I think it's safe to say that was an accurate prediction. Intranets have stuck around and have myriad purposes for any given company. For instance, it's used as a platform for communicating corporate strategy, distributing HR materials, deploying new technology applications, storing and making documents available for updates, communicating to end users, etc.

Intranets started simply enough, with a client/server network and a need to share information behind the firewall. Then the standard Web browser became the interface for many types of information systems that hosted corporate data. This was your Web 1.0 world.

But as the need to merge inside-the-firewall activities with outside-the-firewall activities developed, the need arose to aggregate this information and make it accessible in a logical format -- both inside and outside the firewall. And, like icing on the cake, there is now a social layer on top of all of it. Welcome to the Web 2.0 world. And yes, it too, is here to stay. (I'm putting a stake in the ground!)

There is a distinct parallel between the idea of Intranets (Web 1.0) and now the social trend (Web 2.0, which is slightly different for organizations and also known as Enterprise 2.0). But at the heart of both Web 1.0 and E2.0 are collecting, organizing, and making accessible all types of information so employees can collaborate company-wide.

So while the medium might be changing, the business objectives remain the same. Increase productivity and revenue, bring down costs, and make a more efficient organization. And E2.0 is proving it has the means to do just that.

Take a look-see at our May 1997 newsletter to see what else has stayed the same, and what has changed.

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