Thursday, July 24, 2008

Social Networking ... A Study

Alain has pointed on his blog, to a post about corporate social networks being a waste of time. Interesting post ... and, the study seems to be an interesting one. But then, isnt this something which was waiting to happen? Somehow, what managers seem to ignore is the fact that when people network outside the firewall, they are having fun, while when they do so inside the firewall, they are working (not necessarily the same thing as having fun, isnt it?). Something i have written about before, and here, and here.

Actually, this is something to be expected. Though, there are a couple of things that i was thinking about, with this post ...

1. Million Dollars for Social Networking? What were they even thinking! First of all, we must understand, that most of the web 2.0 pieces are quite anti-thetical to the traditional technology project management scenarios. There is no need for multi-million dollar contracts, and 2 year, T&M project life-cycles, with consultants flying back every Thursday, blah blah ... This is a different paradigm altogether, and unless we understand this, we are probably going to end up grabbing the wrong end of the stick. because, once we realize this, we will understand that its of prime importance that web 2.0 be driven by business users rather than technology users. And, once we can get business users to drive this, there's still hope.

2. We also need to understand that advertising of these tools is also of prime importance. Dont advertise about it, and people wont come to know about it, and if they dont know about it, they wont come there, and if they dont come there, the entire point is lost, as the post says.

3. Community Managers, to my mind, is something which is definitely required as a concept. Whether full-time, or part-time, dedicated or not, is a different issue altogether. For all that is said about Communities of Practice being self-organizing, in the corporate sphere, communities need some amount of prodding from the organization. Remember, smooth functioning of these communities is in the interest of the organization. Thing is, this is an aspect which a lot of managers forget. Rather than being managers, these are essentially champions. These could either be people who are Knowledge Managers, who are driving the adoption of communities in the organization, or these could be Subject Matter Experts taking an active interest in social networking.

Either way, there has to be a separate effort to drive adoption ...

1 comment:

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