Chapter 5 - We're still improving
We're about six months after launch, and we're still looking at our road map that we've outlined and that was mentioned earlier. We're still gathering feedback and seeing how things are going. It's important to react to what your employees are saying.
For example, the like button was not available at launch. It was something that everybody kind of is expecting in a social environment. That was something they were planning to launch just shortly after the New Year, so we put a communications plan around it. We kind of did it a "you asked, we listened" sort of thing. It worked for us, and people really enjoyed it. It's continuing to get lots of traffic. Liking is a great way for people to engage on more of a passive level because they're not putting their self out there and making a comment or saying it one way or the other. But they're showing an affinity for it.
So after 90 days, we decided to run a contest on our new carousel that we had never used before previously. So we had a kind of, "Who wants to go visit the set of one of our originals?" Quickdraw, which is an improv comedy cowboy show. So we had everybody just leave a comment, drop a comment, and tell us why you want to go and visit the set. And we picked a name at random, and we followed up with a story and a video profile of their experience. It's little things like this that will keep your employees coming back.
Making complicated things easy(er)
We had to go to this conference called Upfront, which is a sales opportunity every year that most networks participate in, in New York. They sell ad space for the fall TV shows, and so we were there as well, obviously, because ads are a part of Hulu's business plan. And we created a sort of all-in-one aggregate page.
It's usually really complicated to explain to people in the office. Our intranet made it really easy because:
- We were able to push updates simultaneously as things were happening.
- We were able to do this so quickly because we had all the drag-and-drop widgets.
- We sort of had that live tweet experience where everybody sent stuff to me, but then I could post on behalf of others. And it was really effective.
This was a huge win in terms of educating folks on what an upfront is, because it's kind of a complex process. But here you had context, and you weren't leaving your intranet. So again, it's driving value into your intranet through different mechanisms in different ways and solutions.
Work hard, play hard.
We also have things that are fully work culture related. This one's really exciting to me because this was an easy, low-hanging fruit. People want to come in, and they want to get involved, in terms of your culture. Maybe you have social clubs, or volunteering, or whatnot. This is a way to allow that to live on your corporate intranet, which is kind of a crazy concept, but this all runs itself.
Social clubs at Hulu used to be like email threads where you would reply to all and it wasn't very intuitive. We changed that to a directory page:
- We now have 22 clubs.
- They can have calendars, microblogs, and join request forms. And everything is in context with that specific club.
- People can easily browse what clubs are available and join them right away.
- People get listed in member rosters as well, so it becomes a little point of pride for employees.
- We get requests from people wanting to join clubs every day, it's been very successful.
So let's just talk about lessons learned, things that you might consider. One thing I think is really important to understand is your timeline. A lot of times you're going to talk to your internet vendors as you do your research, and they're going to say, "We can deploy this in five, six weeks. No problem." And they probably could, but what is that going to yield for you? I mentioned earlier you really need to know your audience, engage with them. Some of you are coming from a space, too, where you're not going to have a built-in culture, and that's a little challenging. That's a little tricky, and I realize that. We took advantage of the opportunity that we did have that culture. We did have that space, and we really wanted that to be a reflection in our intranet.