Section 1: Content rating is different behind the firewall than it is on the Internet

Users of intranets and knowledge management repositories often ask for content rating systems for 1–5 stars similar to the user ratings offered by sites such as “Let’s have content ratings like Amazon.” That doesn’t work well when not at scale. The number of people who actually rate things on Amazon isn’t a very large number, but because there are so many people, it’s large enough to matter.

  • Add a “I reused this document” or “I found this useful” button, similar to a “Like” button, but more specific, to all content. Encourage users to click on this button for content they were able to reuse.
  • Allow content to be tagged with “recommended” or “good example” or “proven practice” by an authoritative source.
  • The value of a document is not known until after it has been downloaded and read. There is a lag between the time it is accessed and the time a rating can fairly be made, and the user may no longer be logged into the repository at the time the rating could be applied.
  • Within an enterprise, the identity of users is generally known. Thus, they may be unwilling to give a bad rating since they would become known to the document contributor and possibly suffer negative social consequences.
  • The number of people who might actually rate any given site or document is too low to be statistically significant.
  1. A tag that can be applied by the site owner to designate content as “Recommended” or “Good Example” or “Proven Practice.” Content tagged this way would be displayed with a graphic icon to distinguish it.
  2. A tag that can be applied by users similar to the “Like” function of Facebook to indicate that they found the content useful. Content tagged this way would be displayed with a notation “n people found this useful.”
  3. If the thank-you enhancement is implemented (see below), then any content which has been the subject of a thank-you message would be displayed with a notation “n thank-you messages.”

Section 2: Don’t automatically archive content; improve search instead

  • Old documents are no longer relevant, accurate, or useful.
  • Searches yield too many results, so weeding out old documents will improve user satisfaction with search.
  • Content contributors should refresh documents periodically.


  1. Content Management Process
  2. Archiving, Document Management, and Records Management
  3. Archiving Content
  4. Are you content with your content?
  5. Improving enterprise search results: Why don’t you just tell me what you need?



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Stan Garfield

Stan Garfield


Knowledge Management Author and Speaker, Founder of SIKM Leaders Community, Community Evangelist, Knowledge Manager