So perhaps, in spite of much of the inane rubbish posted on social networking sites, these same sites are going to win out because they have become the holders of profiles we use for identifying ourselves across the web. The analysis is interesting in that it shows that Facebook leads the way – another reason that google needs to win with google+.
Important to think through how you want to use these solutions and resources – distraction is not in itself a bad thing. You need to manage the distractions.
Read Alex Pang’s piece on contemplative computing – courtesy of this article from ReadWriteWeb. Fits in with much of the discussion taking place across lots of enterprises – is IM, social networking, blogging contributing very much to the business? Surely IM (now often including video) is just another distraction to people who should be getting on with ‘the task at hand’.
As an individual consultant and researcher I am constantly required to manage the distractions – notwithstanding that were there no distractions there would be no interaction and no work. The debate reminds me of something about 10 years ago – we should not let the team have internet access because they will waster their time surfing. We seem to have moved on from this because, thankfully, in many cases the web has become a way fo doing work, communicating, researching, whatever.
I don’t think the answer has changed. You have to work out what you are trying to do and figure out how to use the available resources. If you expect to gain from online interaction then you need to recognise that it is a two way street – you will need to be active (or at least be responsive) in order to gain. When you need to work in a quiet, non distracted mode, you need to make yourself unavailable.
Business has changed. It’s not just the desk based personnel who are being bombarded by distractions. Smartphones mean that anyone can be online at any time. Education in the workplace has not caught up – people need training, awareness and guidance on tools which they can use to assist them in managing the online world rather than being managed by the online world.
Introducing social networking within the enterprise
Have been thinking for some time about the best ways to establish effective social networking within the enterprise. I like the phrase I see used some places – social working.
My starting point is that most companies that are in any way successful are already reasonably proficient at social working ie working in teams, brainstorming, sharing ideas, collaborating. So this is not about introducing a new concept – it’s about looking to see whether we can use some of the technologies to assist in more effective collaboration, team work, etc.
Seems to me one of the challenges in commencing an initiative through a pilot is that to some extent the value of the solution is dependent on widespread penetration and adoption. However it is also important to see which suite of products work most effectively, determine potential benefits of any preconfiguration or integration, determine any training requirements.
I am curious to see the potential benefits of a facebook or twitter type application within the enterprise. And to understand the limitations of an enterprise walled-in solution as against a web wide solution such as twitter. But the idea of some form of continuous stream such as a twitter type app seems attractive as a way to provide somewhere for sharing all sorts of information – notwithstanding the inevitable ‘noise’ arising from general posts.
Another challenge to many organisations is the varying level of comfort across people in using such applications. As the social network becomes the primary communication channel there are risks associated with potentially losing some of the non participants. Alternatively some of the potential gains are lost if we are obliged to duplicate things outside the social networking platform.
I have tried google latitude in the past – did not like it. Did not seem to have enough fellow relevant participants to make it worth mu while saying where I was. Recently been experimenting with FourSquare. And now that I have my new android, checkin has never been easier. However – again not sure what I want to tell the world that I’ve checked in at the local football ground on Saturday morning.
Seems facebook now onto the idea that there must be benefit to the user who shares his/her location. And one idea is to offer deals which are relevant to your particular location. So I guess if I were in town and you offered me a taxi fare at 60% discount from that location within the next hour I may be interested. The quality of the deals would drive my willingness to reveal my location. and it’ back to the old maxim: no personalisation without transparency.
Levi Sumagaysay’s piece in Silicon in Good Morning Silicon Valley captures most of this very well.
The privacy debate (or the privacy sale) continues.
For some, new technologies raise troubling questions about Orwellian surveillance and the dangerous blurring of the public and private spheres. Most of these businesses, after all, are based on the premise that you, the user, are the product, with your personal data mined for the benefit of advertisers and other commercial interests. Such concerns are legitimate, but they are not the whole story; new technologies also offer potential for positive social change, greater accountability and transparency. They require governments and organisations to engage in more meaningful ways with their citizens and clients, and they can harness the power of the crowd to make sure that this actually happens.
I am reminded of comments previously made by analysts in this sector: No personalisation without transparency. It is a question of balance between what you are willing to share in order to receive relevant content/ suggestions. Unfortunately ‘willing to share’ is often replaced by ‘inadvertent sharing’.
Interesting to see the editor balancing the threats posed with the potential benefits in terms of greater transparency and accountability. I think the most practical step the Irish Government could take in this respect would be to participate actively in the growing movement of publishing data using linked open data formats.
Jury still seems to be out. In spite of the penetration of social networks in people’s personal lives there still seem to be lots of executives who do not believe their employees should have access to social networking platforms in the workplace.
This is an interesting piece on social CRM – Harish Kotaida has blogged on this subject on a number of occasions e.g. enable, empower, engage. I believe his arguments are very persuasive. What do you think?