…although 90% of the 700 companies polled provide social networking tools to their employees, most (90%) consider their social networking efforts to be unsuccessful.
According to the research, attempts to get employees to blog, use wikis, participate in discussion forums or take advantage of full-scale enterprise social networks largely fail. Lack of single sign-on, integration with e-mail, tracking of user activity and connection to external social nets are key factors that keep employees from embracing internal social nets.
- Penny Crosman
Yes, make it simple to use: a fast platform, easy to use as Facebook, integrated into email, access via bookmarklets, browser extensions, desktop apps, and mobile.
People will use microblogging messaging more than blogging as not everyone has a publishing bent, or wants to share experiences, or has time…but everyone has the time or likes the connection to send a message…even my family do it on facebook, yet my family don’t have blogs.
A few things:
At the moment social platforms for organisations are standalone spaces, like an Intranet, even better if it is the Intranet. We will see more take up in the future when ERM/BPM have social tools embedded in. Any space in these tools where you fill in a form, leave a note, send an email, get an email update can be replaced by social tools.
As the article says these initiatives are led by marketing…this is a problem. It needs to be a roundtable. Why? Because it’s about a new way of working ie. legitmising the existing informal networks, transparency, two-way communication, crowdsourcing…tools are not enough…attitudes and traditional roles need to change otherwise they become a bottleneck.
Another thing is that a KM-like team needs to be heavily involved as it’s not about tools, it’s about how people can enhance their pain points or fill gaps by using these new tools. Every context is unique and these tools are unstructured enough for practitioners to be organisational tailors.
Which leads to another point. Whoever is deploying and sustaining the adoption of these tools in the enterprise needs to be mindful of what they are doing…it’s not just another IT deployment.
I can imagine most of the time; management may give in and say OK then let’s try these tools out. They appoint some random person to do the job, and give them minimal resources and time.
Now this random person may not be passionate about this, and they may not be educated in social computing, and they may not know a lot about the business. They may read some best practice, deploy the tools as they would an ERP system, push a round of training and then run away. Then they wonder why people don’t use it…here are the tools, what more do you want.
Then they participate in an industry survey like this one.
I’d like to see these results in the perspective of the practitioners that are implementing these tools, and their approach…are they mindful of the social computing landscape…it’s not the same as implementing tools of the past that were designed for a specific purpose and didn’t transform the whole notion of organisational relationships, status and control.
People need boundaries, they need guidance, they need role-models, they need examples.
Practioners need to understand this is not an IT thing type of deployment, or even a project management thing…the project never ends, it’s about facilitating, evolving, adopting and adapting; at this point in time in history…maybe in 10 years time it will be so pervasive (especially if Outlook becomes an organisational Facebook) that the practitioners role may fade away, and become more of a product manager, rather than an organisational anthropologist or psychologist which is paramount now.
I wonder in this survey if the people in charge of social software implementations in organisations are read up on organisational anthropology or psychology or neuroscience. I don’t explicitly study these topics, but when I look back at my reading of KM and Management bloggers, this is exactly what I read. OK, I am starting to read more explicitly about cognitive stuff and human behaviour by getting into some science blogs, but even in the past these areas have been covered…for it’s where it has led me today.
Social computing in the enterprise is more cognitive and social science, than IT.