Governance is a big word. It caries connotations of centralisation, power, control and authority. But actually I think it’s perhaps a bit of a misnomer, because today’s intranets are very social systems with ownership distributed across many different people. Yes, you do have to define a strategy, put in place a steering team, think about policies and processes, I’m certainly not trying to downplay those pieces, they’re very important. But getting governance right is also about putting the right support structures in place, in particular support for content owners and site administrators. The key aim of modern intranets is to get plenty of contributions from lots of different people. On top of that you want contributions to be high quality, so that they’re engaging and useful. But that’s only half the battle, you also want your content owners to keep things up to date and to continue contributing after their initial burst of activity. It’s all about maintaining high levels of enthusiasm. A great way to do this is to share with them analytics about how their section is doing, and perhaps even show them how it’s doing versus other peoples’ sections. After all, who wouldn’t be interested in knowing how many times their piece has been read. You could give them a login to Google Analytics, but I’ve always found that GA is pretty opaque to people who aren’t familiar with it. A better way to do it, is to take the time to create a report yourself, Something that is going to be quick and easy to read and digest, rather than letting them drown in data. Giving support and analytics on a regular basis to your content owners is not only providing positive reinforcement, but it’s also giving you a chance to keep up the dialogue between you and them. This is going to help reduce the chances of empty sections and content growing old and outdated.