My Site ... Why Bother?

James Robertson (well respected commentator on all things "intranet") takes issue with the concept of "My site", something Microsoft Sharepoint has introduced to the business world. In essence a "My site" is a personalised homepage that staff members use to maintain their own details and - I think of it as Microsofts (early days) attempt at creating a web-based desktop.

James mentions that "5-10%" mark for people actually customising/personalising their own "My site" and concludes:

I would therefore argue that “my site” functionality implemented today is likely to fail in most organisations. While it may succeed in the future due to cultural or generational changes, this will not change the outcome in the short-term. More importantly, if it fails now, it may not get a second chance when the conditions are more favourable.

At the very least, don’t stake projects or strategies on the use of “my sites”, as this is a very risky option. As I’ve argued in an earlier post, perhaps this is aiming too high, and simpler tailoring may be more effective.

I left the following comment which pretty much sums up my thinking around "My sites":

I agree with you if the premise of a “my site” is to be a place that the users “customise/personalise” - it’s unlikely to happen (5-10% do and therefore 90-95% don’t is the figure I use as well).

However if it’s “merely” the “homepage” of an “intranet” (warning, maximum use of speechmarks breeched) that (cleverly) is used to bring more relevant information based on that person (role, project they’re in, org structure etc etc) then it will be a start.

What I suggest to orgs is that they don’t push the concept of each and eveyone having a “my site” but that it is actually just an “intranet” homepage that (cleverly) knows something about you and adjust accordingly.

Those that discover they can custmise/personalise (the 5-10%) then feel they’ve discovered something extra and are happy as Larry.

(this is based on Sharepoint, a subtly different argument occurs on products that use iGoogle/Netvibes as their inspiration)

What I squash asap is, “We’ll have our own internal Facebook” … no, they won’t.

What do you think - leave a comment on James' post