Five Web Parts Which Bring Life to Your Intranet

An intranet build on SharePoint can offer several social features which motivates employees to interact vividly and socially with one another. We in Webtop have assigned ourselves the difficult task to choose among these and pick out five web parts which, we find, in particular bring social to the intranet. This blog post will introduce to these five special web parts.

Even though we are a SharePoint consultancy who develops and codes for SharePoint, we are also users. In Webtop we find great joy in using and interacting on the organisation’s intranet. This joy has brought us to the knowledge we will now share about the five web parts we have chosen to describe as our favourite socialisers:

1: Internal news – a quick update

The “Internal news” web part is placed centrally at the front page of our intranet. This web part enables all employees to post and comment on informal, internal news. In this web part news like “Remember to turn off the coffee machine when you are the last to leave the building!”, “I have a summerhouse for rent” and “Check out this very cool feature we just developed for SharePoint” are common in our firm.

The comment function of the news web part allows for engaging conversations – as well as it allows for corrections and specifications. One can imagine the comment “The price is very fair” in connection with the summerhouse news, or the comment “Can someone, please, install a timer!?” on the coffee machine news.

This web part has similarities with a blog, but is different, though. Among others because it is possible to customise it in order for each user only to receive relevant news and information; and because of a special function which make it possible to sort the news by whether the user has read them or not.

We like this web part because it keeps us updated about our company and our colleagues in a fun and engaging way. Plus, it relieves us from tons of mass e-mails.

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2: News feed – short, engaging news

The web part “News feed” ads a feature to the intranet which is a bit like the news feed function we all know from Facebook. This web part, also shown at the front page of our intranet, shows recent activity plus status updates posted from employee’s intranet profiles.

Links to articles, fun or relevant videos from YouTube, short updates on a project or just wise words of the day are common content shown from this web part at Webtop’s intranet. Also, updates about e.g. birthdays and changes made in employee’s profiles are seen here. Each user will only see news feeds concerning persons he or she has indicated as a colleague. Co-workers can notify each other by the use of @.

We like this web part because it very briefly and entertainingly offers an overview of thoughts expressed and deeds done in the firm. Also, in Webtop, lots of links to interesting videos and articles are being posted in the news feed web part. This makes us wiser on the topic we work with.


3: Profile – overview of each employee

The “Profile” web part at our intranet offers an overview of relevant information concerning each employee. The profiles are personally filled out by each user. In the profile, it is possible to specify facts as date of birth, areas of expertise, interests and current work location. Also, the profile is where you write the status updates which are shown in the news feed web part as it appears to your colleagues.

Data in the profiles are easily searchable. If one searches the intranet for a certain expertise or a certain name, the person with corresponding terms in the profile will show in the search result. Because it appears in the news feed web part every time a co-worker has updated fields of his or hers profile, it motivates others to do the same.

We like this web part because it makes it easy to find a co-worker with expertise in a certain field. Also, the web part offers a quick introduction to the people we work with as well as it makes it easy for us to obtain contact data on each other.


4: New users – a warm welcome

The web part “new users” notifies employees when a new co-worker joins the intranet. This is done by showing the new employee at the front page of the intranet along with a profile picture and a link to his or hers profile. The web part makes it easy for each employee to welcome the new co-worker to the intranet e.g. by adding him or her as a college.

We like this web part because it gives easy access to welcome new colleagues and because it encourages new employees to use, and interact on, the organisation’s intranet.

Five Web Parts

5: Voting – Long live democracy

How engaging it is to vote! The voting web part, simply, lets each employee voice his or hers opinion on a subject. “Indicate the best date for the annual company picnic” or “Which of the following web parts for SharePoint is going to be the next we will create?” would be appropriate topics for the rating web part in Webtop.

We like this web part because it actively engages employees. Also, the web part makes it essential to go visit the intranet – if you do not, your opinion will not be heard on the matter.

Five Web Parts

These web parts make it for our most beloved darling social web parts. In our opinion, they all add to making Webtop’s intranet engaging, interactive and, therefore, often visited – and these are just few of all the great social web parts an intranet built on SharePoint can offer;  many more as blog, wiki, micro blogging etc. could be mentioned.

Webtop’s intranet is built with Wizdom, our standard intranet product for SharePoint. Wizdom offers the five web parts mentioned above plus several other great ones – but that is just a technical detail

What are the best social web parts of your SharePoint intranet?

Webtop were already signed up as Silver Exhibitors for the ESP Conference 2013. Contact or call +353 91 514501 to learn more about sponsorship & exhibition opportunities.

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