Deane at Gadgetopia has an interesting post about intranets . She writes:
There are three types of intranets. They’re very different, and when someone thinks “intranet,” they’re no doubt thinking of one of the three types. Intranets can overlap from one type to another, but they tend to fall along these lines:
1. The collaboration platform
2. The internal Web site
3. The distributed intranet
When discussing an intranet with a client or within your own organization, you need to first figure out what people think when the word “intranet” comes up.
Semantics. Is it a regular issue with you, too? How many lawyer/management/librarian/technology meetings have you been to where the terms in question mean different things to different people and often the different interpretations don't come to light until well into an increasingly confusing discussion? That's when you say, "Hold on here. Let's get something straight"! Terms we struggle with include "knowledge management", "precedent", "work product", "taxonomy", "account", "network" … and the list goes on. This is why legislation usually starts with a list of definitions right off the bat, right? Now I know to make sure we're straight on "intranet", too.
You'd think we'd try to avoid making our already confusing English language even more confusing, but no! Someone somewhere is laughing!