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Social Networking at Work

20 Sep

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

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.

Bluewire Media

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.

References:

  1. Brad Howarth. (2010). Australia’s 25 top business blogs.
  2. Deutsche Bank Research. (2010). Enterprise 2.0: How companies are tapping the benefits of Web 2.0.
  3. FaceTime. (2009). Social Networking in the Enterprise: Networking, or Not Working?
  4. Verizon White Paper. (2010). Social Networking: The next enterprise killer app?
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6 Comments

Posted by on September 20, 2010 in Enterprise 2.0, Weekly Post

 

6 responses to “Social Networking at Work

  1. Hisham Beshayer

    September 24, 2010 at 7:16 am

    Wow only 20 % US businesses use Web2.0 technologies? It just seems to be a really low number, but then again I suppose that is a very high number of businesses.
    This is a very interesting post that you have written, thank you.

     
    • bianyang

      October 1, 2010 at 3:27 pm

      Thanks Hisham.
      20% of the companies in the US and Europe use social networking applications for internal or external collaboration which just shows the proportion in statistics. With the development of web-based applications, it becomes clear that more and more enterprises or organizations will adopt web 2.0 tools.
      Thanks for commenting.

       
  2. xin

    October 4, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Web technology is developing, so it may become the basis of collaboration of enterprise.

     
  3. bianyang

    October 4, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Good point, Xin.
    Web based applications create and provide basic platform for for enterprises to collaborate internally and externally. Social networks in the enterprise absolutely expand an organization’s ability to collaborate and interact.
    Thanks for commenting.

     
  4. Gray

    October 7, 2010 at 11:48 am

    just went to the Telstra Exchange, that is a really good platform to demonstrate the modern social networking technology at work.

     
    • bianyang

      October 9, 2010 at 7:28 am

      Correct, Gray.
      Telstra Exchange contains blogs written from staff across the organization. It can be said that a new collaborative and communicating platform is established by using enterprise blog. That is one of benefits of social networks at work.
      Thanks for commenting.

       

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