Collaboration is necessary to help any business grow. It's worked in the past, and it will work in the future. Without the help of others in your organization, things won't get done, and you will flounder. This could involve anything from making executive decisions to simple project management. It's especially true for project management tasks like creating content for blogs, articles, and wikis ... and this is where content collaboration comes into play.
It's no secret that today's businesses rely more on technology than those of the past ... and social intranet software has made it easier than ever for distributed teams to work together. Since so much effort is dedicated to content creation and collaboration, companies with remote employees need a way for staff members to collaborate without having to be in the same room, and intranet software is the perfect solution.
Put simply, content collaboration streamlines the process of content creation by allowing staff members to collaborate with each other from beginning to end. In the past, the only way to do this was to pass documents back and forth through email and other communication vehicles. These methods may have seemed effective, but they actually result in wasted time and confusion. Add to this the errors of misplacing important documents, and it's no wonder why many businesses have sought-out a more effective method of employee collaboration.
The process of content collaboration changed almost entirely after social intranet software first hit the market. No longer is it necessary to bounce from one application to another to share and check each others' work. Everything can be done within the social community, and the end result is a more effective and streamlined approach.
Many people are familiar with the term "content management" – it has surely been a buzz word in the professional community over the past few years. Managing content is an important focal point for any business, especially when you take into consideration how popular content marketing is today ... however ... content management and content collaboration are two very different things.
With content management, you're basically dealing with how things are organized within the social community. This involves hierarchy, publishing dates, and more. Content collaboration, on the other hand, is all about facilitating multiple people to work on similar content to create something new. This is one of the main reasons why people collaborate with each other in the first place.
There are plenty of warning signs that can help determine whether or not your organization is a good candidate for a new content collaboration vehicle. The following are a few examples:
There are plenty of ways to put email to good use, and most people still use it on a daily basis to handle a variety of business needs. However, passing documents back and forth can quickly lead to extreme confusion and misplaced files. As the need for great content will no doubt increase over the next few years, replacing email is more of a necessity than a preference when streamlining content collaboration.
A lot of organizations hire one or two writers to handle the majority of their content creation, which can be a great way to maintain flow and consistency. However, it is best to have every piece of content edited by a second set of eyes. If used for external purposes, a mistake that has gotten through the editing gates can be enough to cause PR issues. Similar problems exist when it comes to creating internal documentation.
While content collaboration can be extremely effective when properly embraced, it can also be a time-consuming process. If this is a noticeable issue, it's time to take action. Social intranet software keeps your files and documentation organized and everyone updated and aware of any progress. For instance, an article can be created by the writer directly in the platform (no need to pass files), and the editor will receive immediate notification when the writer completes the article. He/she can then jump right in and finish things off. With everyone on the same page of your intranet content management plan, things will move forward as expected, cutting down on wasted time.
No one wants to be the person who overly-criticizes the work of their colleagues, yet sometimes, this is the best way to get quality content published. One of the greatest things about a social intranet platform is the environment itself. It tends to foster comfort and low barriers among employees. There is a sense of transparency and any type of content collaboration is welcomed. This can have a far stronger impact than many people realize. Break down the boundaries, and headaches will disappear.
It can be difficult to observe competitors creating benchmark content when your organization simply isn't hitting the mark. Sure, content creation can be a time-consuming/problematic process for some companies, and improving it can be just as difficult. More often than not, it's about finding a platform that actually works. With intranet software, you'll be able to get a system in place, create new content, keep things organized, and keep up with the competition.
Content collaboration can help take your business to an entirely new level, and the following are just a few benefits that you can expect once things get off the ground:
There's nothing more important for today's businesses than creating the best possible ideas and solutions, whether they be for products, services, blog posts, etc. You no doubt have employees with highly creative minds, yet there's only so much that can be accomplished when people work in isolation. Intranet ideation tools allows employees to share and expand upon each other's ideas, which means the end product (whatever it may be) is more thought-out than it would be otherwise.
Time is important in any organization, and maximizing how your employees log hours simply cannot go overlooked. Content collaboration takes the guesswork and need for multiple applications out of the equation, making it easy for staff members to work with each other on blog posts, articles, or wikis without having to jump through hoops.
Every manager and CEO wants to save their organization money in as many ways as possible. For companies that pay for multiple collaboration methods, the amount of money spent can add up quickly. Social intranet software, on the other hand, typically occurs within a single virtual community, which means you don't have to worry about spending a fortune annually to renew multiple software licenses or upgrade a number of different platforms.
When your employees are fully engaged in their work, the entire organization will benefit. Intranet engagement is a tricky thing, as there is no one single method to make it stick. Facilitating content collaboration is an excellent way to get started because it helps colleagues work together more fluidly, as well as gain a stronger sense of each others' personalities.
It's a good idea to have a prolific writing staff if you want to publish content on a consistent basis. Often times, however, even the best writers are held back from achieving greatness because of the tools (or lack thereof) they have at their disposal. If you put in the work to create a well-tuned environment for collaboration ... blogs, articles, and wikis can be produced at a much quicker and more consistent pace.
There are many routes you can take when attempting to improve content collaboration. With this in mind, it's even more important to realize that many of these methods are outdated, and some can actually work against your staff's productivity levels. Email, for example, can cause a great deal of confusion when it's being used as a collaboration tool, especially when documents are being passed around regularly.
If there's one tool that stands apart from the crowd, it's social intranet software. This type of platform allows businesses to create virtual communities where members can share and communicate ideas, collaborate on projects, and discuss hobbies and interests. It can help centralize business logistics, eliminating the need to use a variety of applications throughout the day ... for things like communicating, managing projects, and creating content. Social intranet software is perfect for modern organizations in all industries, and there are countless ways to use it.
Tim is president and co-founder of Axero Solutions, a leading intranet software vendor. He's also a bestselling author of Who the Hell Wants to Work for You? Mastering Employee Engagement. Tim’s been featured in Fortune, Forbes, TIME, Inc Magazine, Entrepreneur, CNBC, Today, and other leading publications.
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