An article in today’s Boston Globe, Social-network sites give businesses ideas for new collaboration, highlights the soon-to-be movement of using social networking sites, blogs and other connection tools within a corporate setting.
“The new technologies will help companies empower workers, pool expertise across departments and geographies, and attract young workers who grew up with blogs and social networks. But critics of social networking in business applications cited the dangers of relaxing control of in-house communities… However, companies cited competitive advantages they’d gained from new collaborative technologies.”
In my previous position, I created a screen name for my boss so that we could talk through instant messages rather than those annoying 1 line emails. And I’ve always said that there’s something missing from the workplace in terms of a tool for getting to know your employees. As a new employee at a big (or even small) company, all those new names are hard to memorize, especially for someone who a visual learner. (If I see a picture with a name below it, I’ll remember that person’s name forever. If I meet someone and their name is said out loud, I’ve gotten worse and worse at being able to recall what I was told.) I tried to organize an employee cookbook in the past. The premise was that everyone contributes a recipe, which is then included in the book along with a picture and some basic information. The cookbook is then given to new employees when they begin.
A social networking site like MySpace or Facebook for businesses would allow employees to get to know each other – better and faster.