Collaboration is a big topic in today's often geographically distributed organizations. Even companies that have most their employees on one site find it difficult to share information and foster teamwork between groups. Yes, Slack is great, and DropBox, Box or Google Drive help people work together, but the sheer proliferation of sharing tools is making it harder to retrieve information later on as people forget which channel they posted that specific file on or where they saw details about a particular process.

Social intranets are systems that act as central repositories of information and foster collaboration by allowing people to discover experts in their fields and leverage pre-existing work. Organizations looking for a SharePoint alternative are oftentimes thrilled to hear there are open source options.

Key Features of an Effective Social Intranet:


  • Company-wide or community-based announcements
  • Integrated blogs
  • Activity feeds
  • Wiki-based documentation
  • Strong email integration


  • Secure file sharing
  • Versioning
  • Community and sub-community grouping
  • Support for external members ("affiliates")
  • Sophisticated role and permission options


  • Member directories
  • System-wide tagging
  • Powerful faceted search

Enterprise Ready

  • Rock-solid security
  • Accessibility
  • Mobile-friendly
  • Customizable
  • Extensible

Open Source Python-based Tools You Can Trust for your Social Intranet:

  • Plone
  • Quaive
  • KARL
  • Django

Social Intranet Implementations for Inspiration:

Plone-based intranets

  • ReTrans
  • IEEE
  • FactSet
  • Nuance
  • Eduventures
  • Aspen Valley Hospital
  • Oroville Hospital


  • Ariadne
  • BCJ
  • UNEP
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