Today, 20% of the companies in the US and Europe use blogs, forums or wikis for internal or external purposes (Deutsche Bank Research 2010). Web 2.0 applications offer the opportunity to develop networked exchanges and consolidate knowledge. Web 2.0 builds on the input of the participants. In this way, Web 2.0 tools offer recognizable advantages over Web 1.0 communication and traditional knowledge management.
39 percent of IT professionals reported logging into the social networking sites themselves at least once per day, such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Nearly 40 percent of respondents believe that employees at their companies are using social networking sites between one and five hours per week (FaceTime 2009). Additionally, most believe these employees are using multiple Web 2.0 applications. Not surprisingly, the types of Web 2.0 applications IT managers believe have business use, and would therefore allow in their organizations, include Web Conferencing, such as WebEx, and Voice over IP, such as Skype.
Social networking tools including Wikis, blogs and Facebook take lead in companies. The evaluation of numerous case studies on internal corporate Web 2.0 projects and surveys has shown that wikis, discussion forums and blogs are the tools used most frequently in internal collaboration. They are mainly found in the areas of knowledge management, education and training as well as generally to support communication and cooperation within the company.
While Facebook and Twitter might hog the social media headlines, the humble blog remains a much-loved communication tool for many business people. Unlike wikis, blogs are a dialogue-style communication tool (Brad Howarth 2010). They can potentially be deployed in companies in a multitude of ways. Examples of corporate bloggers are few. Prominent ones include as following.
Deloitte Digital blog, which is maintained by chief executive Peter Williams, provides a hybrid blog, publisher, and news service and reporting on issues relating to the Australian technology industry. As the corporate states that “in a connected world, power shifts to those best able to connect.” Connecting, innovation and people are key planks in Deloitte Australia’s strategy. So it is natural the firm should lead when it comes to social media.
Telstra Exchange contains blogs written from staff across the organization. Telstra Exchange provides Telstra with another platform for reaching out to customers through the words of their staff, while providing a platform for discussion about the future of communications. It successfully establishes the internal external social networking communities.
Adam Franklin started the blog for his web strategy business Bluewire Media two years ago, and says it allows staff to really live and breathe the company’s brand promise of “devoted communication”, as well as being a good strategy for improving your business’s position in Google’s search rankings.
Consequently, corporate blogs benefits can be summarized as following:
- Communication from management or individual employees
- Important information may be communicated flexibly online and in real time
- Topicality and suitability for raising transparency on processes of change
- Scope for employee feedback and thus direct communication across hierarchy
- Innovation communities help in product development
In brief, a massive increase in real-time information is transforming business, society, education and every facet of our daily lives. Enterprise social networks serve to expand an organization’s ability to filter, funnel, and analyze the growing amounts of available information, to better determine what is useful to the execution of the business (Verizon White Paper 2010). Not only do these tools make the organization smarter, but they accelerate the decision-making process. Those companies that resist and limit access to social networks are limiting the potential of their employees and risking their ability to compete in a new marketplace where customers, prospects, partners and competitors are already exchanging information.
- Brad Howarth. (2010). Australia’s 25 top business blogs.
- Deutsche Bank Research. (2010). Enterprise 2.0: How companies are tapping the benefits of Web 2.0.
- FaceTime. (2009). Social Networking in the Enterprise: Networking, or Not Working?
- Verizon White Paper. (2010). Social Networking: The next enterprise killer app?