E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

Some Practical Uses of Social Networking within the Enterprise

Through Mike Gotta‘s weblog Collaborative Thinking, I have just bumped into another interesting article around the subject of social networking adoption within the enterprise that I thought you would also find it an interesting and worth while reading piece, specially since some parts of it have got a lot to do with what I get to talk about over here around the world of Knowledge Management. The news article is titled Ways Businesses Can Use Social Networking and it was written by Christopher Carfi. In it you would be able to find a good number of different ways to make extensive use of social networking within whatever the business in order to connect with other knowledge workers, customers, business partners, etc. etc. to encourage some more knowledge sharing and collaboration making use of some of this social software.

I am not going to list them over here with the complete description of each of them. However, and as a teaser, I am going to just list the main headings and encourage you to go to the news article and read the rest of it over there. So here it goes:

a. "Customer and Membership Relationship Development
b. Customer Support (Connecting The Customer With The Right Source)
c. Use The Network To Find An Expert Or Locate Implicit Knowledge
d. Ease Post-Acquisition Integration
e. Provide The "Whole Product"
f. Understand And Visualize The actual Communication Paths Within The Organization
g. Supercharge Meeting Facilitation And Preparation
h. Increase The Value And Extend The "Shelf Life" Of Conferences
i. Pull Together The "All-Start Team" That’s Right For This Customer
j. Share Knowledge
k. Differentiate Your Service With Brand You
l. Prepare For Coming Demographic Changes In Business"

Pretty useful some of these practical uses of social networking within the enterprise, don’t you think? Well, as I said, if you would want to read through them I would suggest you take a look into the news article and read further because I am sure you are going to find it useful. And now, for the sake of tying up this weblog with some of the ideas that Christopher put together, here you have got a couple of my favourite quotes regarding a some of the different uses of social networking put together:

"Use The Network To Find An Expert Or Locate Implicit Knowledge
Only a fraction of an organization’s "knowledge" exists in databases. Another fraction exists in the form of explicit documents and reports that may be found on an organizational intranet. The vast majority of organizational knowledge, however, exists only in the heads of its members. Inside an organization, online networks with even basic profiles of its individuals’ experience, location and interests can greatly reduce the time required for organizational problem-solving, through enabling faster connection between a questioner and the person who has solved similar problems in the past.

Spot on ! I doubt I would have been able to say it better than that ! Of course, Christopher is just so accurate. That is, indeed, perhaps one of the most impressive enablers that social networking tools provide: reach to the experts and engage with them in the conversations. And collaborate!

"Share Knowledge
By connecting a social network with basic subscription technologies (such as RSS, or "Really Simple Syndication"), an individual can easily "subscribe" to updates from customers and colleagues. This enables a straightforward way to stay abreast of the goings-on in projects of interest, as well as a way to share knowledge within an organization without additional effort. It also addresses the issue of email overload, as knowledge is pulled by those who have a need or interest for updates, rather the updates being pushed to those who may have only tangential interest in an issue."

This quote is another one of my favourites that really makes stand out how more Knowledge Management programs would benefit from having a social networking strategy in order to help knowledge workers much more aware of what they know and how they may be able to share it with others and collaborate with them to bring forward not only a whole lot more knowledge but also to provide them with the capability of establishing, building and nurturing different relationships and connections that they may be able to reuse at some point in time and all that through the effortless usage of social networks within the enterprise. Can it get better than this ? I doubt it.

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