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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Social Networking: A Time Waster Or The Next Big Thing In Collaboration? -- Social Networking

Social Networking: A Time Waster Or The Next Big Thing In Collaboration? -- Social Networking: "Facebook, the social networking application made popular on college campuses, is increasingly being adopted by businesspeople.

College kids use it to organize parties, make friends, share photos, and pursue relationships--but what's any of that got to do with the workplace? How the social networking model is applied to business will determine whether it becomes the next office collaboration tool or the latest Web app to get blocked at the firewall.

  • Hinting at the potential of social networking at work, thousands of employees of Shell Oil, Procter & Gamble, and General Electric have Facebook accounts.
  • A Facebook network of Citigroup employees--only those with Citigroup e-mail accounts can join--has 1,870 users.

  • Procter & Gamble employees use Facebook to keep interns in touch and share information with co-workers attending company events.

Further evidence of Facebook's rise among the business card crowd: People over 24 are its fastest-growing demographic. Still, there are reasons for business and technology managers to be wary of Facebook, as well as MySpace, LinkedIn, and other social networking apps.

They can sap employee productivity or, worse, be a source of governance violations or breaches of company protocol."



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