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An Intranet is a private social network that allows only those who are connected to communicate within that network. Many businesses create intranets for their companies. Intranets include, but are not limited to, allowing employees to view many different aspects of their job, including benefits, retirement plans, new job postings, and news updates within the company. Google Sites is an example of an intranet. Intranets can have multiple purposes; it can be as simple as a personal website or as complicated as a company network. Most company intranets portray company culture. For example, All Chemical Disposal, Inc. company culture emphasizes the need to "go green". Their intranet home page is green with recycling symbols. Their calendar includes Earth Day and household hazardous waste facility drop off locations. 

How Intranets are Made
Intranets are built on the same concepts the internet was built on. Many of the same protocols found in the internet can be found in an intranet. When creating an intranet the specific purpose of the site should be properly mapped out so that all bumps are ironed out before launch. If internet access is desired within an intranet a network gateway and firewall should be included. A firewall only allows authorized websites to be access from the intranet's search function. Someone must be assigned to update the intranet information on a daily basis in order to keep all personnel up to date and in the company loop.

Intranets keep the targeted group in communication and keep those who are not targeted out. It is a private internet. It allows for speedy access to information for those employees connected. Only the important information is highlighted and people are automatically directed to that information upon log-in. Intranets Increase productivity within businesses. The best intranets are user friendly and reduces the amount of questions directed toward event coordinators, human resource division, accounting division, etc. 

Fun Facts
2009 Best Intranets [3]
1. Altran [France]
2. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) [USA]
3. BASF SE [Germany]
4. COWI Group A/S [Denmark]
5. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (DTT) [A Global Member Organization]
6. Environmental Resource Management (ERM) [Global]
7. HSBC Bank Brazil [Brazil]
8. Kaupthing Bank [Iceland]
9. L.L. Bean [USA] 
10. McKesson Corporation [USA]

Must have Features for your Intranet [4]
1. Shared Access to documents
2. Controlled Access
3. Flexible Organization
4. Events Calendar, Scheduler
5. Massage Boards
6. Address Book
7. Intranet Search Engine
8. Task Management
9. Customizable Interface
10. Individualism

Principles for a Successful Intranet [5]
1. Reflect the world view of your audience
2. The customer is always quasi-right
3. Balance the demands of your audience with those of your organization
4. Select a technology that lets you move quickly
5. Follow your audience: It's not just about the Web anymore
6. Keep content consistent across platforms
7. Centralize management, but decentralize input
8. Give it some pizzazz (Integrate company culture)
9. it ain't over when it's over (it's all about the process)

Links for more information on Intranets
[1] Wikipedia