Impact of Social Networks (Week 2)

05 Aug

During the last week’s lecture, we have briefly discussed some kinds of inventions, such as Twitter, Youtube, Wifi and Facebook. Networks become systems and new media provides new services for us. This impact of information technology really inspires my interests. Hence, I have done some reading and investigation about this era.

In the past a few years, the term “Web 2.0” has found its way into business. Web 2.0 is best described as a combination of new technologies (like web services, AJAX, RSS, mashups), new types of applications (social software, social networking), new patterns of interaction, and new principles of organization (participation, wisdom of crowds) as well as new business models such as long tail, webtop and so on. Likewise, the term “Enterprise 2.0” has emerged for the use of Web 2.0 applications and technologies in enterprises including the organizational change in enterprises, which accompanies the technical innovation (A Comparative Study on the Use of Web 2.0 in Enterprise 2009).

With the development of modern technologies, it becomes clear that social media applications have been adopted to various organizations or enterprises in recent a few years. Many social tools, such as Wikis, Blog and Facebook, have become a massive and widespread phenomenon. Some organizations’ initial exposure to social networks has been through responding to the reality of their staff using public social networks while at work. As a consequent, business values of enterprises can be benefited from social networks, which include quicker access to expertise and resources, swifter innovation, enhanced collaboration, more effective leadership development, and better morale (Implementing Enterprise 2009). For further discussion, the primary options for enterprises to tap new media and Web 2.0 are to allow or encourage staff to use external social networks to connect with colleagues, or to implement internal social networks. The connection through social networking applications in certain enterprise can be represented in the following picture.

There are two examples of companies using social networking tools to achieve enterprise objectives.

Example 1: Deloitte LLP has implemented a variety of Web 2.0 initiatives over the last several years. In January 2007, an internal group built a business case for creating an internal social networking tool, which was designed to be similar to Facebook, using benefits such as more effective virtual team work, easier implementation of flexible working arrangements, increased retention, and faster integration of new employees. The system was approved and built on the firm’s SharePoint platform.

Example 2:Serena Software is a privately owned company providing application development tools. It has close to 1000 employees working out of 29 offices, though over one third works from home. The company established “Facebook Fridays,” when staffs were tasked to spend one hour of their working day maintaining their Facebook pages. A set of simple guidelines were established after consultation with the company’s legal department. Over 90% of employees are on Facebook and connected to their colleagues. The sales team regularly use Facebook to build relationships with their clients and prospects.

As a result, the best focus for initial adoption of internal social networks in the enterprise is specific teams or groups. These groups can help seed contacts in the other groups across the connection.It is apparent that new media applications and social networking tool being used really benefit organizations or enterprises in different aspects. And, employees’ desire to participate in social networks is highly correlated to general staff engagement and sentiment. So social networks as a part of information technology brings great impact to enterprises and organizations.

Here are two interesting video showing how social networks work and how companys adopt wikis into their organizations. From the video, it is obvious that social networks as a kind of information technology generate great impact on people’s lives.


  1. Scott Rettberg. 2003. Introduction: New Media Studies.
  2. Tim O’Reilly. 2005. What Is Web 2.0.
  3. Ross Dawson. 2009. Implementing Enterprise 2.0.
  4. Frank Fuchs-Kittowski, Nikolaus Klassen, Daniel Faust, & Johannes Einhaus. 2009. A Comparative Study on the Use of Web 2.0 in Enterprise.

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Posted by on August 5, 2011 in Weekly Post


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