A brief examination of using Igloo for extranets.
If you're using or running an Igloo community, I'm willing to bet it's an intranet. Most Igloo communities are internal workspaces, a digital destination for you and your coworkers to communicate and collaborate. You work in its wikis, store files there, announce new company initiatives with blogs, and share pictures of your pets in microblog channels. Everything that happens there is private. But there's another side to Igloo. A public side.
Extranets are communities that are entirely public, or that use access rules to make parts of them public, while others are private. You're reading one right now. The Igloo Customer Care community has a public Knowledge Base, tutorial videos, and our blogs. However, we also host private project rooms and training areas here, and some pre-launch projects that we're working on.
Extranets can be valuable if you have content you want to share with the world, but want to combine that with the collaborative features of your Igloo intranet. Post to a public blog, but continue to maintain the tasks and work together on documents in the background, for example. The customization options for Igloo mean that you can have a public-facing site that fits your branding needs without sacrificing functionality or having to maintain two sites.
Some examples of successful extranets built on Igloo include:
This charitable organization uses blogs and widgets to announce new events in the community, advertising town halls and granting opportunities. Set up using a series of pages, they use them to surface community content to the public. However, they also use their portal page to send volunteers to the login page, which directs them to the Space they need to be in, so they're only ever two clicks from collaborating in their committee spaces.
This community is a public workspace to discuss policy and service around homelessness in Canada. They use Folder channels to hold resources on various topics in both English and French, and different Forum channels to segment conversations. The public registration option serves them well, allowing anyone to join the community and the conversation.
The AE4H initiative is a collaboration between university and business to develop large-scale energy solutions. Their Igloo is devoted to sharing their vision, mission, and progress, using Pages to embed feeds from Channels in the community. Used as a straightforward website, it pulls in their other social media feeds, integrating them into the experience.
Extranets can serve a number of different uses, and are supported by features like allowing anonymous access to certain areas of a community, enabling public registration, and anonymous commenting. For more information about building extranets with Igloo, you can read up on them in our Knowledge Base, or ask a question in the Community area.