Is it Possible to Use Social Media for Work Collaboration?

Any follower of tech blogs knows the value that web 2.0 brought to the end-user on the web. Greater communication, ease in sharing data, and giant social networks like Facebook and Twitter are just some of the major changes that occurred over the last 10 years.

It’s hard to imagine using the internet without these social platforms. However, most businesses and work places never experienced a rapid and massive shift onto the social web. People still rely on the tried and true e-mail and other internal methods of communication at their workplace. Is it time for more companies that rely on cooperation to start using or mimicking social media platforms to improve collaboration and effeciency?

According to James A. Cooke at DC Velocity, social media can be used to “facilitate business communication” in a number of ways. What sort of benefit would implementing this kind of system have for business? When an issue or problem arises, posting or sharing it for employees to see means that everyone has an equal ability to post and share their opinion, regardless of position or skill. This helps avoid problems associated with strict hierarchies and skill differentials. The social “stream of conversations” can help people find the answers to their problems.

You might be wondering how a big company could use Facebook or Twitter since they are social platforms designed for individuals. You’d be right to wonder. Cooke suggests that companies can and should create their own basic social media solutions based on Web 2.0 technologies that serve the same purposes. Ultimately this would be through software and dashboards specifically designed for inter-company communication and intranets.

As the younger generation that grew up with the social web advance in their careers, it’s likely that more companies will adopt similar communication solutions. Right now only a few companies are utilizing web 2.0 ideas to facilitate communication and problem solving. Do you think it’s a matter of time before more join the party?

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