An interesting article over on the New York Times discusses, at length, new tools being developed to aid enterprises wishing to use the social networking offerings out there. I’ve reviewed in the past some offerings which also aim to provide this functionality.

Taking however a leaf from the book of inimitable enterprise 2.0 commentator MiramarMike (himself a contributor to this blog) – doesn’t this just miss the point. Granted their are security and authenticity issues surrounding using these tools within an organisation that has to meet the, post-enron Sarbanes Oxley requirements. But outside of this is not the issue one of culture rather than technology? Doesn’t enterprise just need to lighten and loosen up?

Final word goes to the NYT which said;

After spending the past few years snubbing the social networking craze as a time-wasting hobby for teenagers (more than 11 percent of online time is spent on MySpace, according to a new study by Compete, a Web analysis company), even the largest companies are beginning to see value in using Internet technology to foster employee communications.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

4 Comments
  • Falafulu Fisi |

    NYT quoted …
    the largest companies are beginning to see value in using Internet technology to foster employee communications

    This is an unsubstantiated assertion, which in short, it’s bullshit if they don’t quote the names of those large companies. And even if they quote those company names, it would be very likely to be something anecdotal. I would like to see what benefits social networking brings to high productivity of any company.

    If anyone could point me out to a peer reviewed study that clearly showed that spending time on social networking sites during working hours enhanced productivity, then I welcome any pointer to such studies please. I mean peer review study and not a survey conducted by one company or a vendor on benefits of using social networking sites during work.

  • Hear hear Falafulu.

    I also want to read studies that research why it’s worthy (i.e., bottom line worthy) of having social clubs within work places – why bother as it’s just gets in the way of doing the work … surely?![/challenge]

    I also think that the report is not talking about using social networking sites located outside of the organisation (say Facebook) but implementing ones internally for the staff to use to connect and communicate. In effect an electronic ‘water cooler’ (or NZ equiv).

    “tools” – that’s all they are … just like the phone, the pencil, the meeting rooms, the coffee machine, the organisational structure and the reception – tools to help get the job done.

  • FF – Email is an internet technology utilised to foster internal communication within enterprise – I take it you’re not suggesting that email (as one example of these tools) hasn’t in fact been adopted (clearly, even without empirical data at my fingertips, it has).

  • Loosen up? Enterprise?
    hahaha.

    In my experience 80% of activity inside large enterprise is devoted to the 0.1% of the cases where something goes wrong. That 80% of activity covers things like report writing, endless meetings, audit trails, more meetings etc to enable people to prove that what they did is the “best practice”. So if something goes wrong, their butt is covered.

    Now, if someone creates a social buttcovering site (buttbook? mybutt?), enterprise will jump on it. Security and Authenticity are really just enterprise excuses for “if something goes wrong, I want someone to know its not my fault”.

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