From a personal and corporate perspective there is much to look forward to in 2013. Over the last couple of years intranet projects we have undertaken have increasingly involved addressing search performance, and towards the end of 2012 three out of the four projects we were working on were purely about search implementation issues. One of these is the optimisation of the web site search for a major university where the competition is Google. Developing search personas and use cases for such a diverse organisation has been a fascinating exercise. We will be starting on a number of new search projects over the next few weeks.

The first of the Intranet Focus 2013 Research Notes will be available next week, summarising some of the best reports and surveys of 2012. I’m looking forward to the release of the Nielsen Norman Group Intranet Design Awards report and the Digital Workplace Trends Report from Jane McConnell at NetStrategy/JMC over the new few weeks. Provisional topics for the Research Notes from January to June are how to develop a search strategy, digital workplaces, how to assess search performance and satisfaction, working with multinational teams, search issues around ‘big data’ and search usability.  

In February I will be working with Janus Boye on the first of series of enterprise search workshops around Europe. I will be talking about search management and there will be two case studies from members of the JBoye communities. More details from JBoye in the very near future. In 2011 I worked on a major techno-economic study of enterprise search in the EU for the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies. For various reasons publication of this was delayed but hopefully it should be released in February 2013 with revisions to sections where there had been important developments in 2012.

March starts off with the IntraTeam event in Copenhagen and I’m going to try hard this year just to be a member of the audience and stay away from the rostrum. In mid-March I’m planning to run the first of a series of enterprise search master classes in London, details of which will be available in early February. One of the highlights of April will be the week I spend lecturing and tutoring at the iSchool, University of Sheffield, where I am honoured to be a Visiting Professor.

In May there are two major search conferences, both managed by Information Today Inc. Enterprise Search Europe 2013 takes place in London on 15-16 May, and this year there will be workshops on 14 May.  The programme is almost complete but we still have some slots for good case studies. (At the same time in Sydney Intranets2013 is taking place, which was a highlight of my year in 2012.) The following week the Enterprise Search Summit takes place in New York, and I will be returning to the USA in November to participate in KMWorld (where with Jane McConnell I will be running a digital workshop track) and also the co-located Enterprise Search Summit Fall.

There is going to be a lot to blog and tweet about in 2013 on intranet, information management, search and digital workplace topics. I remain committed to my view that search is going to race up the list of business-critical applications in 2013 and I’m looking forward to continuing to track the development of search in my monthly CMSWire column as well as in the Intranet Focus blog. The Intranet Focus website content is currently being reviewed, revised and enhanced for release on 7 January, mainly to support my book on enterprise search that was published by O’Reilly Media in November last year.

Despite this programme of public events there will be plenty of time to work on projects for you and your colleagues. As we have done since 1999 Intranet Focus Ltd. will continue to offer vendor-independent consultancy on intranets, search, information management strategy and digital workplace development in the UK, other EU countries and the USA, working with associates as the projects require. We are very transparent about  our project methodology for large-scale intranet projects and we publish a code of practice on how we manage projects.

Martin White