Monday, April 28, 2008

Social Networking

I am trying to catch up on reading ... all the blogs i have subscribed to, and am making some progress on that. Which is why it was only today that i read a post by Luis Suarez (he usually knows what he's talking about, which is more than can be said about a lot of folks, including me!) about the Value of Twitter. Quite an interesting post ... Though i would like to change the direction of the discussion ...

I am looking at social computing within the organization ... Something i have written about before here and here. And this is where i would move away from the numbers ... Bottomline, the success of social computing in the organization depends largely on the adoption of the platform, which in turn is measured by the numbers ... number of hits, posts, etc., but before we can go there, we need to look at the platform itself. I have recently logged into facebook. Ok, so i have been hibernating, but i am trying to catch up. One thing which impressed me a lot was the way a number of third party applications are available for use. These applications can bring value to users, especially with things they want to see. More importantly, the way profiles of users can be used as an advertisement for these applications is amazing.

Let me put it this way ... I need something to complete some work. Is there a way i can discover what kinds of apps are available which can help, and who are the people who are using those apps, and how i can connect with them in the simplest possible way, to make my work simpler. If we assume that things take the shortest possible route, this could be a way we could drive larger numbers, and hence, larger collaboration within the organization. Of course, this is early days, and this may not necessarily take off unless there is a larger eco-system of collaboration apps providers (which there is). However, that said, all this is doing is bringing the process of discovery one level closer to the user, and making it that much simpler. And, i like what i see. And, if you take this to the virtual worlds, the possibilities can be immense. Imagine an island on SL, where you could find out what are the kinds of tools they offer which you could use. Imagine, also, a directory of tool users, and also avatars announcing their latest finds.


Doug Cornelius said...

Atul -

The power of social computing, whether inside the enterprise or outside the enterprise is dependent on the number of people using. Take a look at Metcalfe's law:'s_law

Email is ubiquitous, because email is ubiquitous.

That is a big hurdle to overcome and big change in behavior.

Atul said...

Quite agree, Doug ... But then, there was a time when email was some newfangled thing on the horizon. Given time, virtual worlds could get there too? Let me read up on Metcalfe's Law! Thanks for the input! :-)