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Archive for the ‘Launch’ Category

Hi there happy readers / bloggers,

Happy New Year !! Yes, this is my first blog for 2008, and I feel terrible that it’s already February, but I have been contemplating the content for this blog this year. However, a few bloggers have commented that they love my blog – thanks for that – and I’ll keep continuing on my merry way and stop the procastination and evaluation.

2008 is going to be a biggie, it’s already been big, with Feb being the climax of some important work at Urbis. We are implementing a search engine on our Intranet, and since we don’t have one yet and I have never implemented a search engine, it’s a *real* learning curve. You know, I know all the academic terms of keywords, best bets, synonyms and metadata, but to actually knuckle in there and do the work, weeelllll, that’s a toughie. How to start?? Do a bit of planning with the Intranet Team, well done team, you are ACE ! we did some card sorting with terms and synonyms using post it notes, boy, did we cover two walls in a room! And then…during the next few weeks, myself and the team are doing the hard yards.

Today our graphic designer also showed us the intranet frontpage redesign, which we’ll launch with the search engine, on Friday February 29 ! The day I’m at a Leap into Leadership workshop, a group of us have devised together. Last time we had an intranet launch and I was also out of the office, so 2nd time around it’s okay, as last time the “big bang” theory of mine didn’t happen. I can always make a phone call to check in and see if there has been any comment by staff.

What else is happening in 2008?

  • I’m presenting at a ALIES Conference in March on Web 2.0 Technologies we are using at Urbis
  • I”ve just been to beyond the hype, Web 2.0 Conference in Brisbane, I hope to blog on that
  • Leap into Leadership at the State Library of Victoria on 29th Feb.
  • Oh, and not to forget the NLS4 Conference in Melbourne, December this year

There have been other things I’d like to do, but have had to take it a bit easier and say no to some things to ensure I’m not doing too much.

So, why the slower-ness of my pace?? Well…I’m nearly 4 months pregnant ! SO am taking a change in my career, from being full time worker / career focussed person, to focussing my life on a new little person whose about to enter the Stephens’ life. I have been contemplating whether to blog this news as I don’t want the little one to become a “Truman Show” extrodinaire (sorry about the spelling), but I will aim to give you a balanced view of my change in life. And yes, there is a small bump forming now. So it”s all becoming very real. One other blogger commented that they couldn’t get off the couch during their pregnancy, as seriously, they are all very different, so I guess I am achieving alot considering I”m carrying a little one.

I”m off to watch some spicks and specks, but will aim to be back sooner, rather than later !

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Last night at the ALIA 70th Birthday celebrations in Melbourne, our team launched the NLS4 Melbourne 2008 website. About a month ago, we set 20 August as the date for launching the website, as it made good sense to launch it when we had a captive audience, and why not also perform this at our Associations significant birthday.

And I was amazed at how well our team pulled together when I asked for content on each of the pages. It was a thrill to see the content flowing in over a day or so, and the pages coming together. The launch is a significant milestone and proves what a functioning and interactive team we are, considering quite a few of us are dispersed over the country. Gotta love technology that enables us to move on with our job and connect to each other.

By launching the website, I feel like a proud mother who has held her child close, readying them for the real world, who is now lauched into learning, and ready to be filled with information. I’m sure there will be those who will hack on what we have done, but it’s funny, you tend to only hear the bad, so I’m used to that with web work. I seem to be a bit numb to that critical element and tend not to take it personally. And I now know how to elicit those good stories from people I meet or chat to about the site.

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Intranet launch

Donna – ex Intranet Chick – has made a great comment on my site about our intranet launch. And I agree with her, people are busy, and the intranet is just not seen as important to them, in terms of their everyday work. The intranet seems to seemlessly intergrate into their work, and a new redesign doesn’t set off any big bang theories with them, but it does to those who are working on the intranet.

After the launch last week, I felt disappointed for a few hours, and then reasoned with myself regarding the reactions of my colleagues.

I may not have received much feedback via email, but on talking to staff, and when I ask “what do you think of the new intranet redesign”, they all say, “we love it” “it looks much better” “thanks, there are more links on there now” “it’s easier to use” “we love XXX feature” (not a triple x feature or anything *grin*) “the intranet before was looking pretty good, but this improves on that”.

These stories can be hard to capture if I’m not out talking to people. It’s not like I can throw this into a statistics meter and say, “hey, this is how good our rebranding and redesign is” because 100 people say so. But the richness that can be gathered from these stories need to be noted, some way, some how…

James Robertson from Step Two Designs expands on the issue of talking to staff. Talking to my staff is what I have done earlier this year, to gather stories from people about what is working for them on the intranet and what is not. My colleagues are also very clever people, and they are good at suggestions, “what if we had xxx on the intranet”. With this information, I can go back to my team and ask them if any of the suggested items is possible to deliver. For our current intranet redesign, quite a few suggested items were delivered, one was less clicks on the frontpage, so we brought many embedded clicks forward to the frontpage. With the new intranet launched, I will continue to speak with my colleagues to elicit more information from them. It’s a continual process, but a very valuable one. As they are the ones using the intranet and if it doesn’t deliver or meet their needs, they are not going to use it.

And, I agree with Donna, it could be worse as no one has commented about broken links…

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Okay, so all motions were set in place for the Intranet Launch this morning.

My email informing our 270 colleagues of the new intranet was sent at 6.30am (thanks to outlooks’ abilities to schedule when my email will be sent). With a login script ensuring everyones browser opened up with the new intranet address, and all would be happening for them, right in front of their eyes.

I asked the email to send me a “read receipt”, just so I can peek who has opened the email, and so far I have about 140 of them. So that’s more than half the staff who have opened my email and presumably read it.

  1. How many comments have I received about it??
  2. Would there be a buzz in the office for the new intranet launch?
  3. Would the new intranet redesign and frontpage be well received?

Answer:

  1. 5
  2. No
  3. I don’t quite know

I only received about five emails remarking on the intranet….

Hmmmm, feels like resounding silence.

It’s funny, because I have showed the new intranet to the ILF group this morning. I told them the background of the redesign and that the launch would be happening today, etc etc, well, they all clapped and cheered and loved the new design. I am wondering if an intranet is like the saying “only a face a mother would love”??

I am aware that it’s end of the financial year and a few people have already approached me personally, so I believe I may elicit more feedback through one on one conversations.

An update to happen in the future on this….

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Gee, just when you think everything is going sooooo smoothly, with all the bells and whistles of the intranet redesign coming together, and then left of centre, an email is sent around our company today (Friday at 12pm) indicating that the launch of the new brand is not happening Monday, but Wednesday. Luckily my boss interpreted the true meaning of the email and alerted me to the fact that the email also meant that the Intranet would not be launched till Wednesday.

So, from 12pm today, it was time to steer the ship for another two days before the launch.

What does this mean? Well, today when I was to leave work, all emails and technology would be in place to send around a company email and log on script to the new intranet on Monday morning from 7am. But that will now happen on Tuesday afternoon. It’s fortunate for one reason, our Data Manager has been at a conference all week and he would have been required to work over the weekend to do some tidyups to the intranet and databases before Monday. At least he can enjoy his weekend !!

I’m really looking forward to the launch and hearing our staffs reactions to our new and improved intranet.

What’s so fantastic about this rebranded product?

* The Homepage contains more links to reduce the “two or three click syndrome”. However, more links does not mean that the page is overloaded with links, we now believe it has the right balance of links

* All the portal links are on the front page

* We added links on the frontpage to highly used applications, such as the library catalogue

* The intranet ties in really well with the new company brand, which includes graphics, fonts and colours

* We have added a couple of immediate search fields on the front page, to specific applications, such as the library catalogue, the staff phone list

* To do, over the next six months, is to add a search engine.

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About me

See my “about” section to learn about me, I won’t go into it here, but will save it for this page.  (23/5 not created yet, but soon)

Also, I’m not going to go back to my beginnings, but start this blog from now, now meaning where I’m up to, my interests and readings at moment in time etc…

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…what is this blog about ? many things, life, thoughts, information, technology, pictures etc, whatever comes to mind.

Why the name? The *InTech* part stands for information technology, *the Verve* is about vibrancy, vitality, expression of ideas. The free dictionary defines it as, ” Energy and enthusiasm in the expression of ideas, especially in artistic performance or composition”. There is also a band called The Verve, but it’s not named after them. However, the name for this blog does have a relation to another artist, Madonna, as one of my favourite let loose songs is, Into the Groove.

Say InTech the Verve and Into the Groove in the same way, and they sound very similar, or maybe it’s my strange sense of humour ?

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