Social Tools in the Organization
Stephen Collins has a very useful post on social tools being used in the organization and how he uses them:
Appropriate use policies that are very clear on what is and isn’t allowed and careful steps towards use and understanding are the way to go. As an independent consultant this is advice I give to my clients as I speak to them about the opportunity social tools offer them in terms of staff attraction, engagement and retention, for knowledge and information management and for collaboration. A little research is all that’s needed to find a wealth of information to support this position.
My business, acidlabs, uses social tools as a core part of the way I deal with clients and peers around the world. Using these tools has afforded me opportunities to become engaged in communities and work that might otherwise never have crossed my radar. In the last year, I’ve presented at a conference in the USA (I live in Australia) and met in real life in excess of 100 new and interesting people I might otherwise never have crossed paths with. Every one of those opportunities was as a direct result of the networking and information and knowledge sharing opportunities opened to me by using social networking tools.
I am a regular user of Twitter (probably one of the most prolific Aussies, actually), I use Facebook to track what my professional communities (and friends) are up to and are talking about, I use LinkedIn for strictly business networking and to ask and answer relevant questions, I use Upcoming to track and note my attendance at various events and I use several other social networks for their specific purposes – Flickr for photos, delicious and Magnolia for bookmarking, TripIt and Dopplr for travel and meeting coordination and BrightKite (a new network) for tracking location and arranging serendipitous connections with colleagues, peers and friends. I also blog and use tools like Google Calendar, BaseCamp and Google Docs to keep track and store information that is important to me and my clients.
There’s no reason your organization couldn’t be doing the same. If it’s good enough for Downing Street, who are officially blogging, using Twitter, YouTube and Flickr and significantly opening up the British government to constituent participation, it’s probably good enough for your organisation.
Hmm, the tools I have not used are Upcoming, magnolia, Tripit, Dopplr (but then, I don’t travel so much 🙂 ). I notice Stephen hasn’t listed Friendfeed, but for those on Facebook all day Friendfeed and Twitter apps are a boon!