I know that you work on your company's intranet site quite often, so you're probably a great resource for me. An intranet is suppossed to cater to an employees needs...if the employee doesn't see a value out of using the intranet then the hits will decrease considerably.
Our company's intranet is a piece of crap as it is...and it's designed by gentlemen over 40...not bad...just that they still believe in HTML design from the early 90s. (YUK!) anyhow...what ideas can you give me? They have a message board, if you can even call it that...it's more like...SEND AN EMAIL TO THE CONTENT PUBLISHER AND HE WILL POST IT IN HIS TABLE FOR YOU. what?!
anyway...i'm looking at a newsfeed and a real-time message board what other things should/could i look at?
Your Intranet should make things easy for everyone. Are your Human Resources forms online? You could either have them in HTML Form format where the information is either email to HR or entered into a database. This would work for things like vacation requests, expense reports, transfer requests. Placing forms like W-4 in Adobe Acrobat format (available at the IRS site) will enable employees to manage taxes better.
Put a stock feed online so employees can check their options. Post quarterly results online.
Publish a weekly newsletter and post company events on the Intranet. Ask individuals and departments to submit information for posting. If it is a smaller company post birthdays and employee anniversaries online. Put your holiday schedule online.
Create an area for document exchange in either their native format or Acrobat format.
Newsfeed from Moreover.com would be good. As would your idea of a live message board.
Check Jacob Nielsen's book (Designing Usability...it's really good) and his Website, www.useit.com for info and tips about Intranet design. While you want more traffic, the more usable it is then the more traffic it'll get.